A Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby is afraid of losing his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife, Emily Shelby, are kind to their slaves, he decides to sell two of them: Uncle Tom, a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of his wife's maid Eliza. Emily Shelby is shocked and unhappy because she promised Eliza that she would not sell her son. George Shelby, her son, is unhappy because he admires Uncle Tom as his friend and Christian.
When Eliza hears about Mr. Shelby's plans to sell her son, she decides to run away with her only son. She writes a letter saying sorry to Mrs. Shelby and runs away that night.
Meanwhile, Uncle Tom is sold and put into a boat, which sails down the Mississippi River. There, he makes friends with a girl called Evangeline ("Eva"). When Eva falls into the water and he saves her, Eva's father, Augustine St. Clare, buys Tom. Eva and Tom become good friends because they both love Jesus very deeply.
During Eliza's escape, she meets her husband, George Harris, who had run away before her. They decide to try to run away to Canada. However, they are hunted by a slave hunter named Tom Loker. Tom Loker finally traps Eliza and her family, so that George shoots Loker. Eliza is worried that Loker might die and go to hell. Because of this, she persuades her husband to take him to a Quaker town to get better. The gentle Quakers change Tom Loker greatly.
In St. Clare's house, St. Clare argues with his sister, Miss Ophelia. She thinks that slavery is wrong, but is prejudiced against blacks. St. Clare buys Topsy, a black child, and challenges Miss Ophelia to educate her. Miss Ophelia tries, but fails.
After Tom has lived with St. Clare for about two years, Eva becomes very sick. She has a vision of heaven before she dies. Because of her death, many people change. Miss Ophelia loses her prejudice of black people, Tospy decides to become "good", and St. Clare decides to free Tom.
St. Clare, however, is stabbed by a knife at a tavern and dies. Because of this, he cannot keep his promise to free Tom. His wife sells Tom to a plantation owner named Simon Legree. Legree takes Tom to Louisiana. There, he meets other slaves, including Emmeline (who Legree bought at the same time that he bought Tom). Legree begins to hate Tom when Tom disobeys his order to whip the other slaves. Legree beats him, and decides to destroy Tom's faith in God. However, Tom secretly continues to read the Bible and help the other slaves. At the plantation, Tom meets Cassy, another black slave. Her two children had sold, and she had killed her third child because she was afraid that her child would be sold, too.
Loker has been changed because of the Quakers. George, Eliza, and Harry have finally reached Canada and become free. Meanwhile, Uncle Tom feels so unhappy that he almost gives up, but he has two visions of Jesus and Eva. He decides to continue to be a Christian, even if he has to die. Cassy and Emmeline, with Tom’s encouragement, run away. They cleverly use Legree’s superstitious side to help them. When Tom does not tell Legree where they are, Legree tells his men to beat him to death. Tom forgives the two men who beat him as he dies, and they feel sorry and become Christians. George Shelby comes just as Tom is dying to free him. He is very angry and sad. However, Tom, saying smilingly, “Who,—who,—who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” dies. (non illustrated)
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Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
Nearly every young author dreams of writing a book that will literally change the world. A few have succeeded, and Harriet Beecher Stowe is such a marvel. Although the American anti-slavery movement had existed at least as long as the nation itself, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) galvanized public opinion as nothing had before. The book sold 10,000 copies in its first week and 300,000 in its first year. Its vivid dramatization of slavery’s cruelties so aroused readers that it is said Abraham Lincoln told Stowe her work had been a catalyst for the Civil War.
Today the novel is often labeled condescending, but its characters Tom, Topsy, Little Eva, Eliza, and the evil Simon Legree still have the power to move our hearts. Though Uncle Tom” has become a synonym for a fawning black yes-man, Stowe’s Tom is actually American literature’s first black hero, a man who suffers for refusing to obey his white oppressors. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a living, relevant story, passionate in its vivid depiction of the cruelest forms of injustice and inhumanity and the courage it takes to fight against them.
Amanda Claybaugh is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.Product Description:
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Book Description Macmillan Pub Co, 1962. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 20544006