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Summary of Uncle Tom's Cabin

In: English and Literature

Submitted By simapple
Words 1910
Pages 8
The story starts as Mr. Shelby and Haley, a slave trader, exchange offers. Mr. Shelby is in debt, the reason why he I negotiating with Haley to settle it. Mr. Shelby offers Haley to take Tom, a religious and trustworthy man, but Haley insists that Tom is not enough to cover the debt. After a while, a little boy named Jim Crow/Harry enters the room and Haley is impressed because he saw that the young boy is not only talented, but also has a potential to make more money. However, Mr. Shelby asserts that he cannot trade Harry because the boy’s mother, Eliza, would freak out and Mr. Shelby’s wife would not approve of it as well. Eliza overhears a part of the conservation between the two gentlemen and is certain that her son might be the subject of the negotiation of the two. Eliza approaches Mr. Shelby’s wife and tells her about the matter but Mrs. Shelby assures her that her husband would not do such thing because he never means to sell any of his servants if they are good to him.

Eliza was raised by Mrs. Shelby who treated her not as a servant but as a child. Eliza got married to George Harris, a worker in a bagging factory who was so intelligent that he invented a machine to make work easier. George Harris seemed more like a gentleman than a slave. Because of this, George was taken away from his work not only because George was too smart and upright, but also because it was claimed that the machine he invented for cleaning hemp was only done so as to save work and labor. Eliza and George loss two infant children but when Eliza gave birth to Harry, they were happy for two years until George was taken away from the factory he was working on. In the present time, George visits Eliza and tells her about his bitter experiences with his new master. He narrates to her the instances where his master gave him tons of work in order to diminish his value as a man. He also stated that even his pet dog, Carlo, was drowned by his master and his son because they could not afford to live with a slave and a dog. Afterwards, George informs Eliza that he is being forced to marry Mina or else he would be killed. Eliza replied that they are married to each other but George said that slaves cannot be married. George then bids Eliza goodbye since he is now heading to Canada. He also told Eliza that if the time comes, he will buy Eliza and their son so that they can all be together.

At Uncle Tom’s cabin, Aunt Chloe, the cook, and Master George, Mr. Shelby’s son, discuss things about cooking, pies, and even about Jinny, another cook from Tom Lincoln’s. Master George was teaching Uncle Tom how to write the letter ‘g’. After a while, the people were coming to the place to celebrate and sing along with the others. On one of the tables, however, Mr. Shelby and Haley came to a settlement where Mr. Shelby signed papers regarding the deal. Mr. Shelby clarified to Haley that he should never sell Tom and Haley agreed. Still, Mr. Shelby was not convinced in Haley’s expression. Later that night, Mrs. Shelby inquires to his husband about the man he was with. Mr. Shelby reveals that the man’s name was ‘Haley’, a trader whom he had been accountable for. He then told her that he has decided to trade Tom and Harry in order to settle his debts to Haley. Mrs. Shelby becomes angry for entering into a deal like that. She tells him that maybe her gold watch can at least save Eliza’s son but Mr. Shelby replies that the papers have been signed. Mr. Shelby tells her wife that the exchange will happen in the next day. Meanwhile, Eliza heard every single word exchanged by her masters. She immediately packed up her things and her son’s. As they left, they passed by Uncle Tom’s cabin. Aunt Chloe and Uncle Tom saw Eliza running away with her child and with Old Bruno, the dog. Eliza informs the two about the trade which will commence shortly. Tom becomes disappointed to hear the news that he and Harry will be sold. Aunt Chloe tells Tom to pack up and leave with Eliza but Tom replies that if that trade would be the right thing to do, then it should be done. As Eliza, with her child, bids Aunt Chloe and Tom goodbye, she tells them that in case George Harris goes there, they should tell him of her whereabouts and how much she loves him.

The next day, Mrs. Shelby gives Eliza’s door several knocks but she hears no answer. She tells Andy, a young boy, to go find Eliza but Andy comes back and tells her that the drawers inside Eliza’s room are wide open and that Eliza and Harry is nowhere to be found. Mrs. Shelby was glad to know about it but her husband is frustrated because Haley would think that he was involved in Eliza’s escape. When Haley arrived, Haley decided to search for Eliza and Harry. Andy and Sam, a slave at the Shelby’s, accompanied Haley. But before the pursuit started, Andy told Sam that Mrs. Shelby did not want Eliza to be found. So when the search started, Sam managed to make delays.

Eliza has been exhausted for the travel that they have gone. They were able to reach Ohio River but she learns that there was no ferry. A hostess tells her that there might be someone who will cross the river later. The hostess also offers them a room so that Harry can sleep. On the other hand, during the pursuit of Eliza, Andy and Sam tells Haley that they should take the road which Eliza might have taken when in truth and in fact, they were just leading Haley to the way which Eliza would not have chosen. After reaching the far end of the road, Sam catches a glimpse of Eliza by the window of a room. Sam made it appear that his hat was blown away by the wind and he shouted. Eliza hears it and immediately reacts to it by leaping off onto a piece of ice. Haley sees the action but it was too late. Eliza has already reached the other end of the river where she was helped by Mr. Symmens, a man who owned a farm not far from her old home. Eliza informs him why she is running away from her old home and Mr. Symmens points her to check a place where she and her son may receive aid. The house that Mr. Symmens was pertaining to was occupied by Mr. John Bird, a senator. Mr. Bird and Mary, his wife, was in an argument about a bill forbidding people to give aid to slaves who have escaped. Mary tells her husband that such law is cruel, inhumane, and contrary to what Christians believe. Shortly after their argument, Eliza and Harry arrived, both of whom were taken care of. When Eliza seemed to have regained energy, Mary asks her where she was from, why she had ran away, and where she is headed now. When Eliza answered, Mary cried because she knew what it felt to lose a child. However, Senator Bird has just voted to the bill mentioned before. Because of this, he was worried that he might be arrested for providing relief to the current visitors. Instead, he decided to take Eliza and Harry down to John Van Trompe, a client of his. Senator Bird thinks that it is the best place that is safe enough for Eliza and her child.

At a small country hotel in Kentucky, a sign was posted for the hunt of an escaped slave described as six feet tall, has deep scars on his back and shoulders, and has been branded in his right hand with an ‘H’. A sum of four hundred dollars was also posted as a reward whether George is dead or alive. Mr. Wilson, the owner of the bagging factory where George used to work, remembers about George. Just then, a man with a Spanish complexion arrives at the inn and claims that his name is Henry Butter. Mr. Wilson thinks that the man looks familiar and when they caught each other’s eyes, he was certain that the man he was seeing was George Harris himself. George invited Mr. Wilson to have a talk in his room at the inn. George tells Mr. Wilson that he has suffered too much, being born out of a slave mother. In the last part of their conversation, George begs Mr. Wilson to send a pin to Eliza, to tell her never to go back to the Shelby’s, and to raise their child as a free man.

When Eliza and Harry arrive at the Quaker settlement, they were received by Rachel Halliday. After learning that Eliza’s name was Eliza Harris, they thought that she could be the wife of George Harris. They know him because they asked Jim to accompany George. Eliza, George, and Harry soon got reunited. Tom, on the other hand, is now in the possession of Haley. But since Tom has always been obedient and uncomplaining, Haley has cut down his restraints against him. As Tom observed the people in the boat where they were aboard, he noticed a little girl with an angelic face. He befriends her and later knows that her name is Evangeline St. Clare or Eva. Eva asks what brings Uncle Tom there and he responds that he is to be sold to somebody. Eva convinces her father to buy Uncle Tom at whatever price. Mr. St. Clare buys him because he owes her daughter’s life to him since Tom once saved Eva from the water. Tom becomes that family’s coachman.

However, Eva becomes ill and dies later on. But before her death, she requests to her father to free Uncle Tom from slavery but Mr. St. Clare failed to do this because he himself was killed trying to mediate a barroom scuffle. Mr. St. Clare had remaining debts, so Mrs. St. Clare had to sell the slaves, including Tom. A cruel man who beats his slaves brutally named Simon Legree bought Tom. Tom’s faith was challenged during the times that he was under Legree’s hands. Master George has been searching for Tom, however. He found Tom at the Legree’s platation in Louisiana but Tom is now in the bad state because of the beatings he had undergone. When Tom died, on the way to Kentucky Master George met Cassy and Emmeline, also slaves of Legree. The three then meet Emily de Thoux, George Harris’s long lost sister. They also discover that Cassy is the mother of Eliza. Cassy, Emmeline, and Emily went to Eliza and George’s place. Eliza had given birth to a second child already. Master George came back to Kentucky where he told Aunt Chloe about Tom. He also freed the slaves but the slaves did not want to go anywhere. Instead, Master George paid them with wages and declared that they will be truly free when he dies. He also remarked that Uncle Tom’s Cabin should serve as a reminder of Uncle Tom’s story and freedom.…...

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