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Uncle Tom's Cabin Character Report

Essay by   •  November 17, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,329 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,512 Views

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I Introduction

During the pre-civil war era, slavery had its ups and downs. Before the cotton gin,

slavery was beginning to wind down and the many viewed it to actually lower the US

economy. That was the view until the cotton gin was invented. Eli Whitney's invention

reinvigorated slavery and cotton became king. The chief and immediate cause of the war

was slavery. Southern states, including the 11 states that formed the Confederacy,

depended on slavery to support their economy. Southerners used slave labor to produce

crops, especially cotton. Only a small percentage actually had slaves and few actually

treated them like family. The others treated the slaves like dirt and worked them to death.

Although slavery was illegal in the Northern states, only a small proportion of

Northerners actively opposed it. Many felt that slavery was wrong but had a air of

superiority about blacks, free and enslaved. The main debate between the North and the

South on the eve of the war was whether slavery should be permitted in the Western

territories recently acquired during the Mexican War (1846-1848), including New

Mexico, part of California, and Utah. Opponents of slavery were concerned about its

expansion, in part because they did not want to compete against slave labor. By 1860, the

North and the South had developed into two very different regions. Divergent social,

economic, and political points of view, dating from colonial times, gradually drove the

two sections farther and farther apart. Each tried to impose its point of view on the

country as a whole. Although compromises had kept the Union together for many years,

in 1860 the situation was explosive. The election of Abraham Lincoln as president was

viewed by the South as a threat to slavery and ignited the war. The slaves had no say on

the subject, but some were fine with slavery and others despised it, depending on the

master the slave had. These views and attributes stated above were represented by

different characters in the book Uncle Tom's Cabin.

II Body

Uncle Tom could be viewed as a saint and a voice of reason in the book. Uncle

Tom is almost never seen without his Bible, and he used it wherever he went. Although

many treated him as an inferior man, Tom seemed to be able to touch the soul of nearly

any man. Uncle Tom, the main character, possesses a trait that sanctifies him from the

rest of the characters. Uncle Tom's faith is his source of strength throughout the novel.

This is portrayed socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Uncle Tom relies

solely on his faith in God to assist him in all the trials, tribulations, and hardships that he

endures. Tom never succumbs to the sin that those around him are so deeply engulfed.

Tom's dedication to the Christian faith obviously sets him apart from the other characters

in the story. However, without his unbinding belief in God, Uncle Tom would cease to

be such a Christ-like figure. One must understand that Uncle Tom is constantly paralleled

to Christ during the course of events in the novel. Tom is the social leader of the slaves

on the Shelby plantation. Uncle Tom's cabin is the focal point of fellowship for the

slaves. This is because everybody perceives Tom as a mentor, and also because Aunt

Chloe, his wife, is a fantastic cook. His charismatic personality allows him to lead and

organize their religious meetings which are held in his home as well. In every plantation

he lived, he helped bring more people to Christ. Slaves like Prue and Topsy learned that

someone loves them and in the book that love is the love of God through Tom's teaching.

One can see how Tom's faith allows him to be a social leader among the slaves. Tom's

Christ-like nature has also helped him in dangerous situations. When Tom bought by

Legree and was constantly beaten by Legree and his slaves, Tom thought about God and

was not afraid to die because he believed if he was to die at that time, there was a reason

behind it. After the numerous passions Tom experienced, he brought more people to

Christ. He completed his mission and died a man of God.

Eva, St. Clare and the Shelby family represent the southerners that treated the

slaves more like people instead property. They took good care of their slaves and offered

to free them but the slaves usually stayed with them because of their bond. Eva, the naпve

character in the story considered slavery a good thing because that gave her a lot of

people for her to love and talk to on earth and in heaven when they died. St. Clare had

Tom as a sort of a spiritual counselor. Tom taught Clare

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