Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 37: Liberty Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Tom Loker awakes in a Quaker household under the supervision of Aunt Dorcas, who is tending to his wounds. Loker announces that, if George, Eliza, and Harry are still there, they ought to get across the lake quickly, to safety in Canada. He hopes they do make it safely to Canada, despite his previous convictions. Tom has taken up trapping and otherwise helping in this Quaker settlement after recovering from his fever; he finds the Quakers to be “nice people.”
Loker is an example of a “convert,” if not to the Quaker faith than to Christian teaching more generally. He recognizes that his cruelties toward George and his party were not met with similar cruelty but rather with kindness. This causes him to attempt to change his ways. Just as Topsy responds to universal love with love, so does Loker.
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George, Eliza, and Harry travel to Sandusky, near the lake. Eliza has cut her hair in order to pass undetected. George worries that, because they have come so close to freedom, he will be crushed if they do not make it. Eliza feels that God has intended for them to be free, and George says he too is growing convinced of this.
George and Eliza grow cautiously optimistic that they might in fact reach freedom. George is starting to believe that his liberty is possible, and this enables him to place his faith in a divine power.
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They travel in disguise. Mrs. Smyth, a Quaker from Canada, pretends to be Harry’s aunt, and Eliza pretends to be a man. Marks is at the lake-docks but does not notice the party. The boat sweeps away and approaches Amhertsberg, Canada. On the Canadian shore they sing a hymn of praise and land at a missionary’s home. Though they have no money and no land, Beecher Stowe argues that they have the greatest gift one can receive—their complete freedom to control their lives and keep their family intact.
Beecher Stowe refuses to recognize the argument that slaves, even well-treated slaves, are better off in bondage than free. There can be nothing without freedom—she places this idea in the mind of George Harris and Uncle Tom. Even when they arrive in Canada without a penny, they are “rich” in freedom and able to live life as they choose, as a family.
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