Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Harriet Elizabeth Beecher was an American author who wrote the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. The book immediately became a bestseller in the United States and in Great Britain. Even today, the novel raises still important questions about racism and feminism. The success of the book is not that it describes the experience of slavery in the South, but it describes personal tragedies that the system caused. For a modern reader this novel may seem too sentimental but that is only because Stowe wanted to inspire a powerful emotional reaction of anger and discontent in her readers.
SUMMARY-Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Arthur Shelby is a Kentucky farmer. He is not described as a cruel master but he is forced by some serious debts to sell slaves to avoid the financial disaster. He sells Uncle Tom and Harry to Mr. Haley, the slave trader. Uncle Tom has been a loyal servant to Arthur Shelby since his childhood, and Harry is a child who is very good at singing, dancing and miming. Shelby is very sad because he will have to take Henry away from his mother Eliza. Eliza overhears his intentions and she decides to run away with her son. George, her husband, is in Canada. There he is a part of the secret network of people who guide the runaway slaves to their freedom in the North. Eliza plans to do the same thing. She convinces Uncle Tom to come with her. But Uncle Tom must remain loyal to his master and he does not go with Eliza.
Haley is trying to find Eliza but he fails. Eliza reached the river and finally the shore in Ohio. There she meets Mr. Symmes who listens to her story. Luckily he hates the slave traders and he decides to help Eliza. He takes her and Henry to Senator Bird’s house where they get food and shelter. He takes them to Quaker settlement. There they will be with the Halliday family. George is also in this settlement waiting for her. Their family is rejoined. The Quakers help them board a ship for Canada before the hired slave hunters catch them.
After the hunt for them fails, Haley returns to Shelby’s to pick up Uncle Tom. The slaves at the plantation are in mourning but Uncle Tom remains calm. On the steamboat heading for New Orleans where Tom is sold, he meets a little girl called Little Eva St. Claire. He saves the girl from drowning. She convinces her father to purchase Tom. Life on St. Claire’s plantation is acceptable. He spends most of the time with Little Eva. She is full of love and compassion.