Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 42: An Authentic Ghost Story Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Legree is driven slowly crazy by the noises from the garret and begins drinking more heavily. Cassy puts on Legree’s mother’s shroud and visits Legree in the night, scaring him even more. His drinking increases until finally he is on his deathbed. Then Cassy and Emmeline escape, with Cassy pretending to be a Creole woman and Emmeline her servant.
Cassy and Emmeline use Legree’s drunkenness—a stand-in for his immoral nature—for cover. Here a parallel might be drawn to George Harris's escape earlier in the text. Cassy is fair-skinned enough to pass as foreign.
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Cassy and Emmeline get onto a steamship heading upriver, and while on it run into George Shelby, Jr.. Madame de Thoux, a French lady, and her twelve-year-old daughter also meet Shelby, Jr. on the boat and de Thoux announces, after speaking with Shelby, Jr. about the goings on around his plantation in Kentucky, that she is George Harris’ long-lost sister. Shelby, Jr. tells her that George Harris, Eliza, and their son have fled to Canada, and de Thoux rejoices. De Thoux reports that she was purchased, sold to a man in the West Indies, given her freedom, and married to him. Her husband recently died, and now she is looking to find her brother. When Shelby, Jr. tells of how the Shelbys originally purchased Eliza, from a man named Simmons, Cassy swoons, realizing that Eliza is her long-lost daughter.
Another of the novel’s rather fortuitous coincidences. De Thoux’s story makes clear that she was not sold into prostitution in New Orleans but was instead one of the lucky few to be cared for and, eventually, married. But de Thoux’s life thus far has been incomplete, as she has been made to live far from her family. Her reunion with George Harris in the coming chapters allows her to regain the family ties that slavery had forced her to give up for lost.
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