Essay about Uncle Tom's Cabin Summary

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Pages: 7

US History II AP

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Summary and Review
In the great American classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, it begins with a Kentucky farmer, Arthur Shelby or Mr. Shelby trying to sell slaves to compensate for the heavy debts he had run up. Mr. Shelby and his family are not similar to the other typical slave owners, for they are more kindhearted and caring for each of their slaves. With this in mind, it had made it difficult for Mr. Shelby to sell one of his favorite and longtime slaves, Uncle Tom. But Mr. Haley, the slave trader had also wanted one of Mr. Shelby’s child slaves, Harry, the young son of Mrs. Shelby’s maid Eliza. When Mr. Shelby told his wife about his agreement with Haley, she was shocked because she had promised Eliza that they would not sell her son. Eliza, overhearing the conversation had done what she must to protect Harry, she warns Uncle Tom and his wife, Aunt Chloe of the news, takes Harry and escapes to the North, eager to find freedom with her husband George in Canada. When Mrs. Shelby is told of her fleeing she was glad that Eliza made the right decision. On the other hand, Haley was not fond and he attempts to pursue her, but two other Shelby slaves alert Eliza to the danger. She miraculously evades being captured by crossing the half-frozen Ohio River, the boundary separating Kentucky from the North. From here on Mr. Haley hires a slave hunter, Loker, and his gang to hunt and return the two runaways back to Kentucky. The slaves travel to a Quaker settlement where they are joined by the husband, George Harris. The Quakers agree to help safely transport them to Canada or as far north as they can get them. In the meantime, Haley takes Uncle Tom away from his “family” to a boat on the Mississippi to be transported to a slave market. One the boat, Tom meets a sweet little white girl, which they soon become good friends. When Eva, the little girl, falls of the boat into the river, Tom dives in to save her, and her father, Augustine St. Clare, gratefully agrees to buy Tom from Haley. Tom is taken down to New Orleans where he grows on few of the family members such as Eva and St. Clare, spreading his belief in Christianity. Meanwhile, Eliza and George are still in flight as Loker and his men try to capture them. At one point George shoots Loker in the side and the rest of his men decide to retreat. Eliza convinces George and the Quakers to bring the hunter to the next settlement, where he can be healed. During this event, St. Clare is back home and buys Topsy, a young black girl who was abused by her past master and arranges for Ophelia, St. Clare’s cousin from the north who came to help the southern household, to begin educating her, hoping it would help her overcome her racism and bigotry, because he feels that prejudices isn’t right, but he is powerless against it. The story continues on about two years later where Eva has gotten very sick. At one point, Eva asks her father if all the slaves could one day be set free; she asks for favor in him to fight for their freedom, like she had planned to do if she could have lived past childhood. He says that he will do what he can but does promise to free Tom if she dies. She decides to give strands of her hair to each person in the household. Eva soon passes, leaving the entire house in mourning. Her death has a profound effect on everyone who knew her: Ophelia decides to love the slaves, Topsy learns to trust and feel attached to others, and St. Clare decides to set Tom free. Sadly, before he had the chance to St. Clare was stabbed that night trying to settle a bar brawl. As he dies, finally finds God and becomes reunited with his mother in heaven. After the death of St. Clare, his cruel wife, Marie, sells Tom to a cruel plantation owner named Simon Legree. Tom and a group of other new slaves are taken to a rural plantation in Louisiana. Within this group is Emmeline, who the harsh Legree has purchased to use as a sex slave, replacing his previous sex