Death Symbolizes Heroism In Uncle Tom's Cabin?

Death Symbolizes Heroism In Uncle Tom's Cabin?

Length: 1438 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Is Stowe’s antislavery argument supported by the death scenes of Eva and Tom? In Uncle Tom’s Cabin the death of Eva and Tom can be symbolized as a heroic victory for the other characters, who are slaves, to be set free. Stowe parallels these two Christian figures, Eva and Tom, to Jesus’ death. Both characters that pass away have similar attributes that are emphasized throughout Stowe’s novel. They both had faith in God and they created a change in slavery after their death. Many characters showed much sorrow for the death of Eva and Tom. These two death scenes leave a lasting impression on the other characters and the reader of the novel. Keeping in mind that Stowe had a purpose for these two scenes to develop her argument that slavery should be abolished, I will be discussing the way Eva and Tom impacted the characters and reader.
The death of Eva and Tom can symbolize many effects in the book. Both of their faith makes the comparison to Christ a big parallel for the reader. One common thread between the two characters and Christ are that the deaths are sacrificial and in the fundamental nature for the rescue of others. Everywhere Tom is sent as a slave he seems to give the strength of faith along with love to the other characters. Even though Tom is a slave others seem to respond remarkable to his thoughts and beliefs. He retains his truthfulness and refuses to betray his fellow slaves at the cost of his life! Eva, unlike Tom, is not a slave but is seen as a likable character by all. Even though we can distinguish similarities between both characters and Christ, I feel Tom resembles Christ more because they are both males, they both suffer physically, and are both beaten when expressing their beliefs.
Characters in this novel seem to believe in Tom and Eva’s messages while they are alive but when both characters die it seems their lives leave a lasting impression about Christianity and the wrong doings of being a slave owner. I felt, as a reader, that Stowe made Eva’s and Tom’s death more important than life itself. Eva’s death does not perform through the sudden collapse of the slave system, but proves value through the conversation with
Topsy and how Miss Ophelia responds to her after Eva passes.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Death Symbolizes Heroism In Uncle Tom's Cabin?." 19 Nov 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Major Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essays

- Introduction To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee takes place in Maycomb, Alabama in 1903. This novel is basically a coming of age story for a young girl named Scout and her older brother named Jem. Who grows up in a time where racism is normal. They soon learn to stand up for what is right, just like their dad, Atticus. The Coexistence of Good and Evil The most important theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is the Coexistence of good and evil. The novel approaches this theme in many ways throughout the book....   [tags: racism, heroism, fire]

Research Papers
998 words (2.9 pages)

Jay Gatsby’s Heroism Essay

- Novalis, the great German philosopher, once said that, "A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer." In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main character, Jay Gatsby, will do anything to acquire his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. The 1920’s novel sets the stage for Gatsby to showcase his prominence in the society of West Egg, New York through the descriptive language and emotion that Fitzgerald writes with. Jay Gatsby’s heroicness is displayed through the symbolism of the green light, the eyes of Doctor T.J....   [tags: heroes, great gatsby, f. scott fitzgerald, ]

Research Papers
802 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Santiago's Heroism

- Heroism is different to each person. To someone it might be to look impressive, or act above the ordinary. To someone else, it might be have amazing strength or courage in danger situation. Or maybe it might be having all of the heroic qualities, such as doing brave actions or having great determination. I can’t tell someone what the definition of heroism because there are just so many. But to me, heroism can be well described in this quote from Arthur Ashe. “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic....   [tags: Heroism]

Research Papers
507 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Stephen Crane's A Mystery of Heroism

- Stephen Crane's A Mystery of Heroism Stephen Crane, an avant-garde writer of his time, forced his readers to look beyond his written words for a more underlined, meaningful moral in most of his stories. Crane follows a strict pattern in most of his work. His subject matter usually deals with the physical, emotional, and intellectual responses of ordinary people confronted by extraordinary, extreme experiences. Fairly common themes are presented in his writing, including fallen humanity and harsh realities; yet all seem to overlap in the category of heroism....   [tags: Stephen Crane Mystery Heroism Essays]

Research Papers
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe Essay

- Analysis of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is arguably the most influential novel in American History. Stowe’s sentimental writing style seized the imagination of her readers and Uncle Tom’s Cabin became the standard of the abolition movement. Uncle Tom, one of the protagonists, spreads Christianity and dies for his faith, like Christ. By equating Uncle Tom with Jesus Christ, Harriet Beecher Stowe deliberately provokes her audience to social change and abolition....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Research Papers
787 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

- In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe is trying to show the people that a blending of Christian values and politics will help change and unite the nation. According to Professor Eric Sundquist, “the novel was revolutionary in demanding that the sacred and secular realms be united, that the role of God be reinserted into an American political system that paid lip service to Christian ideals and constantly invoked them in its discourse but failed to act upon them seriously.” Stowe believes that transformation could occur through the power of Christian love....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Research Papers
1209 words (3.5 pages)

Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker Essay

- Good and Evil in The Devil and Tom Walker   The concept of evil in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker" can be shown in many ways, by Irvings' symbolism. In the short story, Tom Walker symbolizes all of mankind by portraying him as being "sinful" and evil. When there is an intent to destroy, then we get a different level of hatred. We see that good vs. evil has been a theme that is ubiquitous in many writings. The story "The Devil and Tom Walker" is a story about a man who lives an immoral life of greed....   [tags: The Devil and Tom Walker]

Free Essays
366 words (1 pages)

Essay Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

- Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe One of the more powerful novels writeen on the most humilating chapter of American history was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this novel during the civil war time period. The Civil War has been described as "America's darkest hour". Slavery, abuse, neglect, and ignorance ran rapid throughout this age. Stowe depicts all of these traits in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The story begins with Mr. Shelby discussing with Mr. Haley the selling of his servants to repay his debts....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Free Essays
458 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Boys Will be Boys in Tom Sawyer

- Boys Will be Boys in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” Mark Twain uses “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” to reveal his own childhood; thus, many specifics in the book, such as the characters and the setting are very dear to his heart. It is the story about life in a boy’s world, and it discloses the feelings of Mark Twain concerning his boyhood, his town, and the people there. The time period is about two decades before the Civil War, and the setting is in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a small village on the Mississippi River....   [tags: Tom Sawyer Essays]

Free Essays
1511 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Uncle Tom's Cabin

- The book Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe starts off in Kentucky. A Kentucky farmer, Arthur Shelby is in debt and being forced to sell a few of his slaves. One of the slaves goes by the name of Uncle Tom, a slave that Mr. Shelby truly trusts. The other is a young boy Harry, whom is Mrs. Shelby's servant, Eliza's son. Eliza overhears Mr. Shelby discussing his plans to trade with slave trader Mr. Haley. She then warns Tom and his wife of the trade, but Tom refuses to flee and is taken by Mr....   [tags: Uncle Tom's Cabin Essays]

Free Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

Related Searches

Topsy will not behave because she feels she has never had a mother’s love and she believes that no one can love her. When Eva explains that Miss Ophelia will love her if she were good Topsy cries out: “No; she can’t bar me, ‘cause I’m a nigger!-she’d soon have a toad touch her! There can’t nobody love niggers, and niggers can’t do nothin’! I don’t care”(409). Eva goes on to confess her love for Tospy and tells her to be good for Eva’s sake. Eva express that it will only be a little while for her to be with Topsy, giving the impression that she will die soon. In this discussion Eva is expressing her love and she initiates a process that is conveyed from heart to heart with Topsy that can changed the whole view point of one character. When Eva was dead Topsy cried out “there an’t nobody left now,-there an’t!” (431) Miss Ophelia took Eva’s place and explained to Topsy “I can love you, though I am not like that dear little child. I hope I’ve learnt something of the love of Christ from her. I can love you; I do, and I’ll try to help
you to grow up a good Christian girl.” (432) By dying, even a child, it can be the device of deliverance for others, since in death Eva acquires a spiritual power over those who loved her beyond what she possessed in life.
One strength of Uncle Tom’s Cabin is the ability to illustrate slavery’s effects on families. In the novel the destruction of family, the primary result of slavery, has various results on the characters as well as the reader. In Stowe’s antislavery novel the examples of Tom and Eva dying are one way for her to make a strong argument about slavery being cruel and inappropriate. The deaths of Tom and Eva can signify the pure and powerless dying to save the powerful and corrupt, and thereby show themselves more powerful than those they save. Tom is separated from his family from the beginning of the novel. He is content with George Harris but is sold because of Mr. Harris’ debt. He then saves Eva on a boat and is bought by her father because of his heroic save of his daughter. Later Tom discusses Christianity with St. Clare, Eva’s father. After listening to Tom’s beliefs St. Clare promises to set him free but is killed in a bar brawl. This is one example that Stowe is portraying to the reader that slave owners need to act at the moment of thought before another trade happens and it is too late. Since St. Clare dies his wife is forced to sell Tom to Simon Legree. Stowe uses Tom’s death in the same sense that slavery will only come to an end if people act accordingly because you never know what will happen to the owner. If none of their wishes are on paper then it is hard to free slaves. Eva was not initially separated from her family. She did not leave them until death. Her death did bring the good of Miss Ophelia taking Topsy back to Vermont to live with her. These two deaths show the hardship of being separated from family and not being able to decide what happens with your beliefs, but leaving behind their beliefs and values Tom and Eva made it possible for some characters (Miss Ophelia and George) to see the good in letting slave families reconnect or a family start in Topsy’s case.
Throughout Tom’s journey from the Shelby farm to his death on Legree’s farm, many of the slaves and sympathizers held incrediably high morality levels, while there non-supporter displayed acts of cruelty and hatred. After Tom passed away and they buried him George kneeled on his grave and said, “oh, witness, that, from this hour, I will do what one man can to drive out this curse of slavery from my land” (593)! This quote from George is expressing his sorrow for Tom’s death and is explaining that he is agreeing to tell his slaves to celebrate their freedom and to strive to act like Tom. Tom’s death finally gains him power. For the first time in the novel he is able to speak with vehemence and power to George before he goes to heaven. In the ending of the book Tom expressed to George, “Don’t call me poor fellow! I have been poor fellow; but that’s all past and gone, now. I’m right in the door, going into glory...!” (590)
The figure of Christ is the common thread which unites all of the novel’s good characters in the end. Eva is referred to as an angel many times throughout the book. She always wore white and is now in heaven looking upon

everyone. The values and attributes that Tom felt important from the beginning of the novel are now living on especially through George because he is getting rid of the slaves. I believe the death scenes provide the reader with Stowe’s antislavery argument. She wanted the slave owners to act accordingly to what they promised because if you don’t it could be too late to change your beliefs about being a slave owner! Through the examples I provided we, as readers, recognize that the heroic behavior sampled by Eva and Tom should be practiced by everyone, both black and white. This behavior can be explained by what the two main characters performed before passing away, to change the beliefs of slaves being a non acceptable possession. Tom’s death can also offer hope to make a social change against slavery. If other people follow George Shelby’s decision Tom has impacted a big movement towards slave owners letting their slaves be free! A similarity between Uncle Tom and Eva’s deaths are the facts that the deaths of such loving individuals inspired others to free the slaves. Hopefully freedom can reunite family and friends that once were bonded until sold to separate slave holders!
Return to