Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born June 14,

1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She was the daughter of a Calvinist minister
and she and her family was all devout Christians, her father being a preacher
and her siblings following. Her Christian attitude much reflected her attitude
towards slavery. She was for abolishing it, because it was, to her, a very
unchristian and cruel institution. Her novel, therefore, focused on the
ghastly points of slavery, including the whippings, beatings, and forced
sexual encounters brought upon slaves by their masters. She wrote the book
to be a force against slavery, and was joining in with the feelings of
many other women of her time, whom all became more outspoken and influential
in reform movements, including temperance and women's suffrage. The main
point of Harriet Beecher Stowe in the writing of Uncle Tom's Cabin was
to bring to light slavery to people in the north. In this she hoped to
eventually sway people against slavery.

The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin focuses on
the lives of two slaves, who both start under the ownership of a Mr. Shelby,
who is known as a man who treats his slaves well. Mr. Shelby, however,
was indebted to a man of the name Haley, who is a slave-trader. In return
for the debt owed to him, Haley wants two slaves one being the son of a
beautiful mulatto woman named Eliza, and the other the devout Christian

Tom, who is called Father Tom because of his sermons. Eliza is also a Christian,
as are the rest of the slaves on Shelby's farm. Eliza loves her son dearly
and rather than lose him to the slave-trader she takes him and heads to

Canada, where she can be free. Haley follows but can't catch her before
she goes from Kentucky, the state of the Shelby Farm, to Ohio. Haley then
sends slave-catchers after her. He also goes back to the farm, and brings

Tom on a steamboat to the South, a place where slaves are known to die,
but Tom meets and makes a great impression on a little girl, Evangeline

St. Clare, or Eva as she is called, and she persuades her father, Augustine

St. Clare to purchase Tom. Augustine is a man against slavery, but too
intelligent and idle to openly oppose it, instead choosing to let his slaves
run freely and do whatsoever they please, within reason. Tom is bought
as a man who works at the stable, and is the private driver of Marie St.

Clare. Marie was a conceited woman who is too busy worrying about herself
to take proper care of Eva, which results in Augustine bringing his cousin,

Ophelia, to take care of her and was the reason for his and Eva's traveling
on the steamboat where Tom meets them. Meanwhile, Eliza is taken to a Quaker
settlement on the border of the slave states where she meets up with George,
her husband, who is a highly intelligent slave. He escaped to the Quaker
settlement by dressing as a white man, which he isn't very far away from
because of his mulatto descendance. He then uses another slave to act as
his slave and makes it to the settlement after hearing Eliza, his wife,
is there. They are soon told that men are after them, so they flee, have
a confrontation in which one of the Quaker men pushes a slave-catcher into
a ravine. The catcher is then taken to a Quaker home to be tended to where
he heals and decides to no longer be a slave-catcher. They then, dressing
as two men and their daughter, as opposed to husband, wife, and son, ride
a ferry to Canada. Tom, on the other hand, is enjoying himself at St. Clare's,
where he is having an easy life, until Eva becomes sick, and dies. St.

Clare is deeply affected by this, and begins to think about his own mortality,
and the rights and wrongs of slavery. After much reflection he decides
to initiate the freeing of Tom, whose wife, back in Kentucky, is trying
to earn enough money to buy him back by being a confectioner. Tom is overjoyed
when hearing the news of his freedom, but St. Clare dies before he can
finish the proceedings, and Tom was sold at an auction before the Shelby's
can be reached, for they would have surely came and bought him back. Tom
is sold to a man named Legree, the character of the average hard slaveholder,
dirty, mean and ugly. Tom is then beaten to death before George Shelby
could come