I have read that Harriet Beecher Stowe's work (published 1852) is not encouraged by the educational establishment in the US because of the stereotypes it presents of black people as ill-educated and subservient.

However the case for it, given the position it occupies as arguably the most influential fictional text in US literature, and its historical importance, seems to me to be overwhelming. It demonstrates beyond doubt that slavery and Christianity cannot possibly co-exist - providing a monumental dichotomy to the society and politics of mid-nineteenth-century America.

What are the precise nature of the arguments against it being taught educationally (it is a classic) and is the work universally discouraged among teachers and educators?

  • Among which "educational establishment" are you referring to? The United States has education departments on the Federal, State, and Local levels. Do you see this as nationwide problem or only specific areas within?
    – Skooba
    Sep 18, 2023 at 15:02
  • @Skooba I'm simply curious to know whether schools, and examination authorities in general set it as a a text for study, in the same way that they might include any other 19th or 20th century work eg. such as by Dickens, Emerson, Longfellow, Hemingway, Steinbeck etc. Or for that matter Shakespeare, Chaucer or Milton.
    – WS2
    Sep 18, 2023 at 16:48
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    That can be very broad, each state and sometimes even school district can set their curriculum. Exams here in the US are standardized and will typically not include requirements to have read a specific work of literature.
    – Skooba
    Sep 19, 2023 at 13:32
  • @Skooba I'm intrigued by what you mean by "standardised". Surely an examination at age 16 or 18 in English Literature cannot expect you to answer questions on anything from the entire range of English writing from Chaucer to James Joyce - can they? The way it works in Britain is that each exam board will offer, each year, a number of possible "set books" to choose from. And you will be asked to provide essay answers to questions about the works you have studied.
    – WS2
    Sep 19, 2023 at 20:56
  • Yes the US can have that as well, but as I mentioned there so many different layers to the bureaucracy that the Federal or State education boards are not setting that. It will come down to individual school or possibly individual teachers who determine what books are selected. Now granted some authors and works are pretty wide spread such as Shakespeare or for a more local flair Mark Twain. So to answer why a particular work is not being taught can have a multitude of reasons.
    – Skooba
    Sep 20, 2023 at 13:12


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