amer lit 101

amer lit 101 - Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Toms Cabin...

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Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin Eliza escapes with her son, Tom sold "down the river" The book opens with a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing the loss of his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife, Emily Shelby , believe that they have a benevolent relationship with their slaves, Shelby decides to raise the needed funds by selling two of them— Uncle Tom , a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of Emily Shelby’s maid Eliza —to a slave trader. Emily Shelby hates the idea of doing this because she had promised her maid that her child would never be sold; Emily's son, George Shelby , hates to see Tom go because he sees the man as his friend and mentor. When Eliza overhears Mr. and Mrs. Shelby discussing plans to sell Tom and Harry, Eliza determines to run away with her son. The novel states that Eliza made this decision because she fears losing her only surviving child (she had already miscarried two children). Eliza departs that night, leaving a note of apology to her mistress. While all of this is happening, Uncle Tom is sold and placed on a riverboat , which sets sail down the Mississippi River . While on board, Tom meets and befriends a young white girl named Eva . When Eva falls into the river, Tom saves her. In gratitude, Eva's father, Augustine St. Clare , buys Tom from the slave trader and takes him with the family to their home in New Orleans . During this time, Tom and Eva begin to relate to one another because of the deep Christian faith they both share. Eliza's family hunted, Tom's life with St. Clare During Eliza's escape, she meets up with her husband George Harris, who had run away previously. They decide to attempt to reach Canada . However, they are now being tracked by a slave hunter named Tom Loker. Eventually Loker and his men trap Eliza and her family, causing George to shoot Loker. Worried that Loker may die, Eliza convinces George to bring the slave hunter to a nearby Quaker settlement for medical treatment. Back in New Orleans, St. Clare debates slavery with his Northern cousin Ophelia who, while opposing slavery, is prejudiced against black people. St. Clare, however, believes he is not biased, even though he is a slave owner. In an attempt to show Ophelia that her views on blacks are wrong, St. Clare purchases Topsy , a young black slave. St. Clare then asks Ophelia to educate her. After Tom has lived with the St. Clares for two years, Eva grows very ill. Before she dies she experiences a vision of heaven , which she shares with the people around her. As a result of her death and vision, the other characters resolve to change their lives, with Ophelia promising to throw off her personal prejudices against blacks, Topsy saying she will better herself, and St. Clare pledging to free Uncle Tom. Tom sold to Simon Legree
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amer lit 101 - Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Toms Cabin...

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