Uncle Tom's Cabin follows the lives of two slaves that live on a Kentucky plantation. Tom, a black slave, and a young mulatto woman named Eliza are under the ownership of Mr. Shelby. Tom is his most trusted slave, while Eliza is Mrs. Shelby's beloved servant, whom she has raised since she was a young girl. Mr. Shelby is a kind man, but is not very good with his finances. He is indebted to a slave trader by the name of Haley. The story begins with Haley giving Shelby the option of trading a couple of his slaves to pay off his debt. Haley tells Shelby that he wants Tom, Shelby's most faithful slave. Knowing he has little choice, Shelby eventually signs over Eliza's five year old son, Harry and Tom to Mr. Haley, thus settling his debts. Eliza overhears the men talking and flees the plantation with her son. With Haley not far behind, she starts her dangerous journey to Canada, where she hopes to meet up with her husband, George, who is also a runaway. Haley is unable to catch Eliza, so he returns to the farm and collects Tom. With plans of taking Tom to be sold in the South, Haley boards a steamboat with several other slaves.
On the boat Tom meets and makes a great impression on a little girl, Evangeline St. Clare, or Eva. Eva is traveling with her father Augustine St. Clare, and his cousin Ophelia. After Tom rescues Eva from drowning, she persuades her father to purchase Tom. Augustine is a kind man who treats his slaves as if they where his own children. Tom goes to work in the St. Clare stables and becomes the private driver of Augustine's selfish wife, Marie. Since Marie is so busy worry about herself, she is unable to properly
care for Eva. So Augustine has brought Ophelia from ...
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... I could only visualize the hardships that slave families had to endure. I was saddened by the fact that these things really did happen, and the worst part was that they happened all the time. I would have been just as devastated if my family was ripped from my arms and traded like livestock. Stowe painted a vivid picture of the lives of slaves. Stowe may have had a bias opinion on
slavery but in my opinion, she had every right. I believe that the reason south was so upset over this novel was because they knew that slavery was coming to an end. This was an amazing book that took me through the different lives and situations that men and women had to live through and endure. Harriet Beecher Stowe was an astounding writer who opened a door for the abolitionist to express themselves.
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
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