Why has Uncle Tom's Cabin survived—and thrived?

Anonymous Patron writes "Over @Slate, Stephen Metcalf asks Uncle Tom's Children - Why has Uncle Tom's Cabin survived—and thrived? We have here an interesting puzzle. How has Uncle Tom's Cabin survived, and thrived, if it proved so offensive to the 20th-century aspirations of the African-Americans it helped liberate in the 19th? Why isn't Uncle Tom's Cabin like Wittgenstein's ladder: Once climbed, it is obsolete, and we ought to throw it away?
The answer, he believes, can be found in an essay from 1978 by Jane Tompkins, a prominent feminist literary critic"

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