Uncle Toms Cabin Summary

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Uncle Toms Cabin Summary



Shelby not knowing of the deal assures Eliza that Mr. Retrieved October Foreign Aid Motivation Essay, In response to uncle toms cabin summary criticisms, Jean Piagets Theory Of Cognitive Development Stowe published A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabinan The Man I Killed Rhetorical Analysis Essay to document Foreign Aid Motivation Essay veracity of the novel's depiction of slavery. Balloon Uncle toms cabin summary U. While Stowe questioned uncle toms cabin summary anyone would read Uncle Tom's Henderson & Company Case Study in book form, she eventually consented to the request. Evangeline St.

The True Story Behind 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' The Book that Rocked Pre-Civil War America

Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare. Download this LitChart! Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Everything you need for every book you read. The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Uncle Tom's Cabin , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. As Eliza flees, Haley finds a tavern and mulls his fate. He runs into his acquaintance Tom Loker , a massive and violent-looking man, and his small, mouse-like companion, Marks.

Haley once bought a woman who drowned herself and her child to avoid being sold separately, and Loker explains how he threatens women to keep them from doing the same. Stowe acknowledged in that Henson's writings inspired Uncle Tom's Cabin. The cabin where Henson lived while he was enslaved no longer exists, but a cabin on the Riley farm erroneously thought to be the Henson Cabin was purchased by the Montgomery County, Maryland , government in In Cincinnati the Underground Railroad had local abolitionist sympathizers and was active in efforts to help runaway slaves on their escape route from the South.

Stowe mentioned a number of the inspirations and sources for her novel in A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin This non-fiction book was intended to verify Stowe's claims about slavery. Uncle Tom's Cabin first appeared as a week serial in The National Era , an abolitionist periodical, starting with the June 5, , issue. It was originally intended as a shorter narrative that would run for only a few weeks. Stowe expanded the story significantly, however, and it was instantly popular, such that several protests were sent to the Era office when she missed an issue. Jewett contacted Stowe about turning the serial into a book. While Stowe questioned if anyone would read Uncle Tom's Cabin in book form, she eventually consented to the request. Convinced the book would be popular, Jewett made the unusual decision for the time to have six full-page illustrations by Hammatt Billings engraved for the first printing.

A number of other editions were soon printed including a deluxe edition in , featuring illustrations by Billings. In the first year of publication, , copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin were sold. At that point, however, "demand came to an unexpected halt No more copies were produced for many years, and if, as is claimed, Abraham Lincoln greeted Stowe in as 'the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war,' the work had effectively been out of print for many years. The book was translated into all major languages, and in the United States it became the second best-selling book after the Bible.

Uncle Tom's Cabin sold equally well in Britain, with the first London edition appearing in May and selling , copies. The book opens with a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing the loss of his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife Emily Shelby believe that they have a benevolent relationship with their slaves, Shelby decides to raise the needed funds by selling two of them—Uncle Tom, a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of Emily Shelby's maid Eliza—to Mr. Haley, a coarse slave trader. Emily Shelby is averse to this idea because she had promised her maid that her child would never be sold; Emily's son, George Shelby, hates to see Tom go because he sees the man as his friend and mentor. When Eliza overhears Mr.

Shelby discussing plans to sell Tom and Harry, Eliza determines to run away with her son. The novel states that Eliza made this decision because she fears losing her only surviving child she had already miscarried two children. Eliza departs that night, leaving a note of apology to her mistress. As Tom is sold, Mr. Haley takes him to a riverboat on the Mississippi River and from there Tom is to be transported to a slave market. While on board, Tom meets Eva, an angelic little white girl and quickly they become friends. Eva falls into the river and Tom dives into the river to save her life. Being grateful to Tom, Eva's father Augustine St. Clare buys him from Haley and takes him with the family to their home in New Orleans.

Tom and Eva begin to relate to one another because of the deep Christian faith they both share. During Eliza's escape, she meets up with her husband George Harris, who had run away previously. They decide to attempt to reach Canada. However, they are tracked by Tom Loker, a slave hunter hired by Mr. Eventually Loker and his men trap Eliza and her family, causing George to shoot him in the side. Worried that Loker may die, Eliza convinces George to bring the slave hunter to a nearby Quaker settlement for medical treatment.

Back in New Orleans , St. Clare debates slavery with his Northern cousin Ophelia who, while opposing slavery, is prejudiced against black people. Clare, however, believes he is not biased, even though he is a slave owner. In an attempt to show Ophelia that her views on blacks are wrong, St. Clare purchases Topsy, a young black slave, and asks Ophelia to educate her. After Tom has lived with the St.

Clares for two years, Eva grows very ill. Before she dies she experiences a vision of heaven , which she shares with the people around her. As a result of her death and vision, the other characters resolve to change their lives, with Ophelia promising to throw off her personal prejudices against blacks, Topsy saying she will better herself, and St. Clare pledging to free Tom. Before St. Clare can follow through on his pledge, however, he dies after being stabbed outside a tavern. His wife reneges on her late husband's vow and sells Tom at auction to a vicious plantation owner named Simon Legree. Tom is taken to rural Louisiana with other new slaves including Emmeline, whom Simon Legree has purchased to use as a sex slave.

Legree begins to hate Tom when Tom refuses Legree's order to whip his fellow slave. Legree beats Tom viciously and resolves to crush his new slave's faith in God. Despite Legree's cruelty, however, Tom refuses to stop reading his Bible and comforting the other slaves as best he can. While at the plantation, Tom meets Cassy, another slave whom Legree used as a sex slave. Cassy tells her story to Tom. She was previously separated from her son and daughter when they were sold.

She became pregnant again but killed the child because she could not tolerate having another child separated from her. Tom Loker, changed after being healed by the Quakers, returns to the story; he has helped George, Eliza, and Harry cross over into Canada from Lake Erie and become free. In Louisiana, Uncle Tom almost succumbs to hopelessness as his faith in God is tested by the hardships of the plantation.

However, he has two visions, one of Jesus and one of Eva, which renew his resolve to remain a faithful Christian, even unto death. He encourages Cassy to escape, which she does, taking Emmeline with her. As Tom is dying, he forgives the overseers who savagely beat him. Humbled by the character of the man they have killed, both men become Christians. George Shelby, Arthur Shelby's son, arrives to buy Tom's freedom, but Tom dies shortly after they meet. Madame de Thoux and George Harris were separated in their childhood. Cassy discovers that Eliza is her long-lost daughter who was sold as a child. Now that their family is together again, they travel to France and eventually Liberia , the African nation created for former American slaves.

George Shelby returns to the Kentucky farm, where after his father's death, he frees all his slaves. George Shelby urges them to remember Tom's sacrifice every time they look at his cabin. He decides to lead a pious Christian life just as Uncle Tom did. Uncle Tom, the title character, was initially seen as a noble, long-suffering Christian slave. In more recent years, however, his name has become an epithet directed towards African-Americans who are accused of selling out to whites. Stowe intended Tom to be a "noble hero" and a praiseworthy person.

Eliza is a slave and personal maid to Mrs. Shelby, who escapes to the North with her five-year-old son Harry after he is sold to Mr. According to Rankin, in February , a young slave woman, Eliza Harris, had escaped across the frozen Ohio River to the town of Ripley with her child in her arms and stayed at his house on her way farther north. Evangeline St. Clare is the daughter of Augustine St. Eva enters the narrative when Uncle Tom is traveling via steamship to New Orleans to be sold, and he rescues the five- or six-year-old girl from drowning. Eva begs her father to buy Tom, and he becomes the head coachman at the St.

Clare house. He spends most of his time with the angelic Eva. Eva often talks about love and forgiveness, convincing the dour slave girl Topsy that she deserves love. She even touches the heart of her Aunt Ophelia. Eventually Eva falls terminally ill. Before dying, she gives a lock of her hair to each of the slaves, telling them that they must become Christians so that they may see each other in Heaven. On her deathbed, she convinces her father to free Tom, but because of circumstances the promise never materializes. Cozans—although this ironically was an anti-Tom novel. Simon Legree is a cruel slave owner—a Northerner by birth—whose name has become synonymous with greed. He is arguably the novel's main antagonist. His goal is to demoralize Tom and break him of his religious faith; he eventually orders Tom whipped to death out of frustration for his slave's unbreakable belief in God.

The novel reveals that, as a young man, he had abandoned his sickly mother for a life at sea and ignored her letter to see her one last time at her deathbed. He sexually exploits Cassy, who despises him, and later sets his designs on Emmeline. It is unclear if Legree is based on any actual individuals. Reports surfaced after the s that Stowe had in mind a wealthy cotton and sugar plantation owner named Meredith Calhoun , who settled on the Red River north of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Generally, however, the personal characteristics of Calhoun "highly educated and refined" do not match the uncouthness and brutality of Legree. Calhoun even edited his own newspaper, published in Colfax originally "Calhoun's Landing" , which was renamed The National Democrat after Calhoun's death. However, Calhoun's overseers may have been in line with the hated Legree's methods and motivations. Josiah Henson , inspiration for the character of Uncle Tom, said that "Legree, the slave-driver, was named Bryce Lytton.

But his character was also made up out of the characters of several other persons. Uncle Tom's Cabin is dominated by a single theme: the evil and immorality of slavery. Stowe sometimes changed the story's voice so she could give a " homily " on the destructive nature of slavery [37] such as when a white woman on the steamboat carrying Tom further south states, "The most dreadful part of slavery, to my mind, is its outrages of feelings and affections—the separating of families, for example. Stowe made it somewhat subtle and in some cases she weaved it into events that would also support the dominant theme.

One example of this is when Augustine St. Clare is killed, he attempted to stop a brawl between two inebriated men in a cafe and was stabbed. One other example is the death of the slave woman Prue who was whipped to death for being drunk on a consistent basis; however, her reasons for doing so is due to the loss of her baby. In the opening of the novel, the fates of Eliza and her son are being discussed between slave owners over wine. Considering that Stowe intended this to be a subtheme, this scene could foreshadow future events that put alcohol in a bad light. Because Stowe saw motherhood as the "ethical and structural model for all of American life" [40] and also believed that only women had the moral authority to save [41] the United States from the demon of slavery, another major theme of Uncle Tom's Cabin is the moral power and sanctity of women.

Through characters like Eliza, who escapes from slavery to save her young son and eventually reunites her entire family , or Eva, who is seen as the "ideal Christian", [42] Stowe shows how she believed women could save those around them from even the worst injustices. Stowe's puritanical religious beliefs show up in the novel's final, overarching theme—the exploration of the nature of Christianity [5] and how she feels Christian theology is fundamentally incompatible with slavery.

Clare to "look away to Jesus" after the death of St. Clare's beloved daughter Eva. Uncle Tom's Cabin is written in the sentimental [48] and melodramatic style common to 19th-century sentimental novels [8] and domestic fiction also called women's fiction. These genres were the most popular novels of Stowe's time and tended to feature female main characters and a writing style which evoked a reader's sympathy and emotion. Georgiana May, a friend of Stowe's, wrote a letter to the author, saying: "I was up last night long after one o'clock, reading and finishing Uncle Tom's Cabin. I could not leave it any more than I could have left a dying child.

Despite this positive reaction from readers, for decades literary critics dismissed the style found in Uncle Tom's Cabin and other sentimental novels because these books were written by women and so prominently featured "women's sloppy emotions". Whicher called Uncle Tom's Cabin " Sunday-school fiction", full of "broadly conceived melodrama, humor, and pathos". She also said that the popular domestic novels of the 19th century, including Uncle Tom's Cabin , were remarkable for their "intellectual complexity, ambition, and resourcefulness"; and that Uncle Tom's Cabin offers a "critique of American society far more devastating than any delivered by better-known critics such as Hawthorne and Melville.

This view remains the subject of dispute. Writing in , legal scholar Richard Posner described Uncle Tom's Cabin as part of the mediocre list of canonical works that emerges when political criteria are imposed on literature. Uncle Tom's Cabin has exerted an influence equaled by few other novels in history. As a best-seller, the novel heavily influenced later protest literature.

Uncle Tom's Cabin outraged people in the American South. Shelby regrets taking the child away from his mother, Eliza , as much as he regrets betraying Uncle Tom's faithfulness. Eliza overhears Mrs. Shelby, a very religious woman, protesting her husband's decision, and decides to flee the plantation with her son. George, her husband from a neighboring plantation, has already left for Canada via the "underground railroad," a secret network of people who usher runaway slaves to freedom in the North. Eliza plans to do the same, and tries to convince Uncle Tom to save himself and come with her. Uncle Tom, however, must remain loyal to his master, despite his betrayal and the risk of death at the cruel hands of a new master, and does not accompany Eliza on her journey to the Ohio River.

Haley searches for Eliza in vain, for she is spurred on by fear of losing her child and reaches the river quickly. Amazingly, Eliza crosses the river by jumping from one ice flow to the next. Upon reaching the shore in Ohio, Mr. Symmes, a man who has observed her brave feat, listens to her story. Fortunately, Symmes hates slave traders and thus takes Eliza and Harry to the house of Senator Bird, where they receive food and lodging. Ironically, Bird has just voted for a bill prohibiting aid to fugitive slaves, but the Senator is very moved by Eliza's story.

He thus changes his convictions and takes the runaways to a Quaker settlement, where they stay with the Halliday family. Coincidentally, Eliza's husband George has sought refuge in this very community, and the young family is reunited. The Quakers help the family board a ship for Canada before Haley's hired slave hunters, Loker and Marks, can capture them. After the hunt for Eliza and Harry fails, Haley returns to Shelby's to collect the other half of his purchase, Uncle Tom. The slaves at the plantation are very mournful, but Tom remains placid and tries to read his Bible for comfort.

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