Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Summary
Analysis
George and Eliza begin to plan their life in Canada. Eliza can wash clothes and work as a seamstress; George can practice his trade. Simeon Halliday enters with Phineas Fletcher, an athletic and energetic man who has recently converted to Quakerism. Fletcher brings news that Loker, Marks, and their gang are approaching the Quaker settlement. The Quakers plan to get leave quickly with George, Eliza, and harry. George says he wishes to harm no one, but vows that violence might be necessary. Simeon acknowledges George’s position but says that, in the Quaker tradition, only non-violence is practiced.
A philosophical split arises between the Quakers, who feel violence is never justified, and George Harris, who is willing to use violence to protect his family. Both sides appear to be given deference by Beecher Stowe, although George later announces that, had he killed Tom Loker, he would not have been able to live with a murder on his conscience.
Themes
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
George tells Eliza he loves her more than ever, but he wonders how God can defend those who pursue them. Simeon reads George a psalm that echoes this doubt but ends with a sworn vow to put faith in God. Beecher Stowe argues that, because Simeon is wiling to espouse these values and help a fleeing slave, at risk to himself and his family, he is doing the work of a true Christian.
Again, Beecher Stowe praises the Quakers for putting their faith into action. This is similar to Beecher Stowe’s praise of Tom, who is willing to die for his beliefs, and who uses his faith as an example for others.
Themes
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Another escaping slave, Jim, and his mother join Eliza, Harry, George, and Phineas on the trip to Canada. As they ride, a scout on horseback named Michael reports that eight to ten of the capturing forces, led by Loker, are close behind. Michael takes the wagon and rides away, as a distraction and to gather more help, and Phineas leads the escapees over a fence, across a gap, and up a rocky embankment.
The most action-packed sequence in the novel. Phineas is a convert to Quakerism, and the others in the community recognize that his desire for thrills and not quite so strong commitment to non-violence might set him apart from other members of the faith. But Phineas is devoted to the cause of helping slaves escape.
Themes
Freedom Theme Icon
Loker, Marks, and the others arrive. Fearing a violent confrontation, George mounts the embankment and delivers a speech on his desire for freedom and willingness to defend his family. Marks fires on George, nearly hitting him, and George fires on Loker, injuring him in his side but not killing him. Loker attempts to reach the party but is pushed into the ravine by Phineas. Marks and the others flee without rescuing Loker. The Quakers and escapees lift up Loker and carry him by horseback to another farmhouse an hour away, where they all rest.
It is important to note that George first articulates his vision for freedom and his desire only to choose a life of liberty with his family; it is Marks who fires the first shot, causing George to retaliate out of self-defense. George keeps his promise to Eliza, using violence only when absolutely necessary.
Themes
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Home Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
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