Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Fall 2017


College of Arts and Sciences




literary devices, Civil War, Henry Timrod, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin


Other Classics | Other Rhetoric and Composition | Social History | United States History


While both Northern and Southern antebellum writers employed religious imagery for their persuasive purposes, their specific rhetoric differed: Timrod pictured the South romantically, as the revival of Camelot even after the Confederacy’s death; Stowe, heavily influenced by her personal background, enacted emotion accompanied by an appeal to ethics in her fictional apologetic for the end of slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Although history handed both authors the opportunity to affect the nation’s trajectory, only Stowe achieved this feat, and she owes her triumph over Timrod, the victory of the North over the South, to her emotional rhetoric concerning slavery. This victory manifests itself in the comparison between Timrod’s underwhelming influence on Southern literature and Stowe’s indisputable effect on American history.