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Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Essay title: Uncle Tom's Cabin

By: Khadijah Murray E-mail: disco8@hotmail.com Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe UNCLE TOM -Uncle Tom manages the Shelby plantation. Strong, intelligent, capable, good, and kind, he is the most heroic figure in the novel that bears his name. Tom's most important characteristic is his Christian faith. God has given Tom an extraordinary ability. He can forgive the evil done to him. His self-sacrificing love for others has been called motherly. It has also been called truly Christian. AUNT CHLOE- Aunt Chloe, Uncle Tom's wife, is fat, warm, and jolly. She is a good housekeeper and a superb cook, and justly proud of her skill. She loves Tom, and urges him to escape to Canada rather than to go South with Haley. After Tom is sold, she convinces the Shelbys to hire her out to a baker in Louisville and to use her wages to buy Tom's freedom. She is heartbroken to learn of his death. - MOSE, PETE, AND POLLY - Mose, Pete, and Polly, the children of Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe, are playful and rambunctious. Polly is Tom's special favorite, and she loves to bury her tiny hands in his hair. ELIZA HARRIS - Eliza Harris is raised by her mistress, Mrs. Shelby, to be pious and good. Described as light-skinned and pretty, Eliza dearly loves her husband, George Harris, and their little boy, Harry. When she learns that Harry is about to be sold, Eliza carries him in her arms to the Ohio River, which she crosses on cakes of ice. Although generally a modest and retiring young woman, Eliza becomes extraordinarily brave because of her love for her son. GEORGE HARRIS- George Harris, portrayed as a light-skinned and intelligent slave, belongs to a man named Harris. He is married to Eliza, who lives on the Shelby plantation, and they have a son, Harry. HARRY AND LITTLE ELIZA - Harry and little Eliza are the children of George and Eliza Harris. Harry, born a slave on the Shelby Plantation, is bright and cute, and sings and dances for Mr. Shelby and Haley. He is so beautiful that he is disguised as a girl in order to escape into Canada. Once there, he does very well in school. Little Eliza is born free in Canada. - SAM AND ANDY- Sam and Andy, slaves on the Shelby plantation, provide comic relief through their mispronunciations and deliberate mishaps. Andy, who likes to makes speeches, is meant to satirize politicians. But Sam and Andy make an important contribution to the novel's plot- their clowning allows Eliza to escape across the Ohio River. MR. SHELBY - Mr. Shelby, the owner of a Kentucky plantation, generally treats his slaves well, but he decides to sell two of them, Uncle Tom and little Harry, to pay off a debt. Although he regrets the sale, Shelby feels he has no other choice. MRS. SHELBY - Mrs. Shelby, a kind, religious woman, tries to raise the family's slaves with Christian values. She attempts to convince her husband not to sell Tom and Harry, and she helps Eliza escape. Warm-hearted Mrs. Shelby treats her slaves like people, crying with Aunt Chloe when Uncle Tom leaves and consoling her when they learn he is dead. - GEORGE SHELBY- George Shelby, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Shelby, is thirteen years old when the novel begins, and eighteen when it ends. He likes to spend time with Uncle Tom and Aunt Chloe, basking in their kindness and attention. He teaches Uncle Tom to read and write, and reads the Bible at the slaves' religious meeting. On Uncle Tom's grave, he swears to do whatever he can to fight against slavery, and he begins by freeing the slaves on his own plantation. George is one of the few characters who changes during the course of Uncle Tom's Cabin, as he develops from a good-hearted but somewhat self-centered boy into a noble and effective man. HALEY-Haley sets the plot of Uncle Tom's Cabin in motion by insisting that Mr. Shelby sell him Tom and little Harry. Haley curses, smokes, drinks, and dresses badly. He claims to be humane because he is not completely cruel to the slaves he buys. But you can see that he's a nasty person. He doesn't believe slaves have feelings, so he doesn't think twice about separating a mother and child- like Eliza and little Harry, or about the woman who jumps off the steamboat on the Ohio River after he sells her baby. Haley can't understand why these things keep happening to him. TOM LOKER, AND MARKS- Tom Loker and Marks are crude fellows, who make their living catching escaped slaves. You often see them in taverns. Tom Loker is shot by George Harris, but the Harrises and the Quakers forgive him, and he is nursed back to health in the Quaker settlement. He gives the Quakers the information that helps George and Eliza disguise themselves so they can elude Marks at the Sandusky ferry. - MR. AND MRS. BIRD- Mr. and Mrs. Bird live in Ohio with their three children. Tiny Mrs. Bird is a wonderful housekeeper and mother. Mr. Bird, a senator, has just voted for the Fugitive Slave Law. Mrs. Bird tries to convince him

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