Throughout the course of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, numerous characters stand out for their complexity in character. However, only a fraction of those can contend with the memorability and intricacy of Evangeline and Ophelia St. Clare. In the chapters the two become included in, they possess influence over the other characters, including Uncle Tom, the lead protagonist. The individuals obtain stark contrasts between each other, from their personalities to their personal convictions. Additionally, they also vary in the level of character development they undergo in the story.
Although the majority of the characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin contain positive virtues, their flaws, even seemingly harmless ones such as innocent ignorance, plague their personalities. However, that cannot hold validity over Eva, the only daughter of Augustine and Marie St. Clare. Throughout the tale, she remains a beacon of Christ-like kindness and selflessness, and helps others overcome their problems, personal or spiritual, even on the doorstep of her untimely demise. Paralleling accordingly with her ever-compassionate nature, Evangeline completely rejects the concept of slavery, only tolerating her father’s ownership of slaves as it “makes more round you to love,” as stated in Chapter 16, Page 242. Despite her ability to love slaves and denounce slavery, that consistency did not always pertain to a number of abolitionists. Furthermore, the audience becomes introduced to Ophelia, a character who, despite her detestation of slavery, struggled to view blacks as equals with herself.
In the antebellum United States, the majority of the north advocated for the abolition of slavery, despite their prejudice towards blacks. In order to relate to those people...
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...iorates as the story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin progresses, the impact that they leave on the viewer, and society as a whole, cannot go unnoticed. Their individuality served as a blueprint for complex characters in future stories, and reflected the personalities of the United States, ideal or otherwise. In Eva’s case, an ideal spirit of angelic wholesomeness commonly loathed by the Confederacy, and aspiring, yet out of reach for the majority of the Union. As for Ophelia, the conviction of slavery and initial feelings towards slaves reasoned with a number of self-proclaimed abolitionists. Ultimately, Harriet Beecher Stowe, presented through these characters a personality in an ideal world of equality, while displaying a path of redemption for those who had seen the light, but did not know where to progress. Eventually, the change in Ophelia became the change of the nation.
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