Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Eliza Harris Character Analysis

Maid to Mrs. Shelby, Eliza learns that her son Harry is to be sold along with Tom and escapes in the night with her son. Her husband, George, has also recently escaped his cruel master—the three reunite in Ohio en route to Canada, which they eventually reach in disguise. They start a new life in Montreal and move from there to Africa.

Eliza Harris Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Eliza Harris or refer to Eliza Harris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Bantam Books edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin published in 1981.
Chapter 3: The Husband and Father Quotes

I an’t a Christian like you, Eliza; my heart’s full of bitterness; I can’t trust in God. Why does he let things be so?

Related Characters: George Harris (speaker), Eliza Harris
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

Christian faith will be a key element in the novel, one that is returned to again and again by different characters and in different contexts. Here, George wonders aloud how a Christian God could allow the kind of injustice he observes in a slave system - how this might be possible if God is indeed on earth to protect all his children. Eliza, for her part, has an easier, though not entirely easy, job believing in God - her faith and position are more secure than George's, and she believes that, eventually, God will provide a way forward for them, for a life beyond slavery.

George and Eliza's romance is one of the central narrative axes of the novel. It is a love that is separated, again, by something so cruel and impersonal as a debt between two white men. And although Shelby is somewhat hurt by the idea of losing Uncle Tom and Eliza - because he does have a fondness for them - he believes that it is more important to protect "his honor" with Haley than it is to maintain Eliza and George's marriage on his farm. 

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Eliza Harris Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character Eliza Harris appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: A Man of Humanity
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...the room, Shelby has the boy perform for his and Haley’s amusement. The boy’s mother Eliza, a beautiful mixed-race slave, soon comes to retrieve Harry. After the boy and mother have... (full context)
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...to slaves, and their business suffers. Haley nevertheless insists he might buy Harry without upsetting Eliza too much, if she is kept away from the scene of separation. Shelby asks for... (full context)
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Eliza is standing near the door and overhears that Haley wishes to buy someone on the... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Mother
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Eliza, Mrs. Shelby's maidservant, is a fair-skinned mixed-race slave, married to another mixed-race slave named George... (full context)
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George and Eliza got married while George was still at the factory in a formal ceremony on Shelby's... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Husband and Father
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Soon after Haley’s visit to Shelby, George visits Eliza at the Shelby estate. He bitterly complains of having to return to his master’s farm... (full context)
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Eliza states that she has obeyed her master and mistress because it is Christian to do... (full context)
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...to force him to marry a woman on his master’s farm despite his marriage to Eliza. George reminds her that they may be sold separately, or Harry may be sold, and... (full context)
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George announces he has decided to flee to Canada or die in the process. Eliza begs him to behave honorably, without harming himself or others, and he departs after a... (full context)
Chapter 5: Showing the Feelings of Living Property on Changing Owners
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...earlier, and Mr. Shelby admits it was a slave-trader. Mrs. Shelby reports her conversation with Eliza, and that she had told Eliza that Shelby would not sell any slaves. Realizing he... (full context)
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...insists that he did not want to sell anyone, and that he did not offer Eliza even though Haley wished dearly to purchase her. Mrs. Shelby, at first upset and surprised,... (full context)
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...defense of evil. Mr. Shelby asks that his wife help in the sale by distracting Eliza when Harry is taken, but Mrs. Shelby says she will not, and that instead she... (full context)
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Eliza overhears this conversation from an adjoining room and resolves to escape with Harry immediately. That... (full context)
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Uncle Tom, on hearing the news, understands that Eliza must flee, but he says he must stay, since fleeing would mean breaking his word... (full context)
Chapter 6: Discovery
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After Eliza doesn’t respond to the Shelby’s bell the following morning, they see her empty room and... (full context)
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...asked by the slave Andy to call for horses to aid in the search for Eliza and Harry. Andy also informs Sam that Mrs. Shelby doesn’t actually want them captured. Sam... (full context)
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...“bobservation,” or his ability to read Mrs. Shelby’s hints, has satisfied his mistress and given Eliza and Harry a few hours’ head start. (full context)
Chapter 7: The Mother’s Struggle
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Eliza carries Harry through the ice and snow, though he is old enough to walk. Beecher... (full context)
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...Ohio River. Along the highway they walk normally, with Harry eating apples and cakes from Eliza’s bag, in order not to arouse suspicion. Eliza claims she cannot eat until they have... (full context)
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At T-----, Eliza is informed that the ferries have stopped running across the river to Ohio. Eliza explains... (full context)
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...will buy him back when they have the means. Haley readies once more to track Eliza and Harry, and Sam and Andy go with him. Sam uses his wiles to throw... (full context)
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Sam sees Eliza through the window, fakes that his hat is blown off, and calls out, thus alerting... (full context)
Chapter 8: Eliza’s Escape
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As Eliza flees, Haley finds a tavern and mulls his fate. He runs into his acquaintance Tom... (full context)
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...is right to acknowledge its evil and embrace it. Marks steers the subject back to Eliza and Harry. (full context)
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...proposes that he and Loker will catch the two, return Harry to Haley, and sell Eliza into enslaved prostitution in New Orleans, since she is fair-skinned and attractive. Haley agrees in... (full context)
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Sam and Andy return to the estate and inform the Shelbys of Eliza’s escape. Sam argues that the Lord helped Eliza cross the ice floe, and Mr. Shelby... (full context)
Chapter 9: In Which It Appears That a Senator is but a Man
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...Sure enough, just then, Cudjoe, a black servant, informs Mrs. Bird that the two runaways, Eliza and Harry, have arrived. Mrs. Bird promises them shelter and food, and the Senator, despite... (full context)
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Eliza begins telling her story. The Birds reveal that they have recently lost a child, and... (full context)
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...to argue for the passage of the state’s strict no-aid law. Bird and Cudjoe drive Eliza and Harry slowly over the slushy road, often stopping to remove the carriage from a... (full context)
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...institution is immoral. Now living in the free state of Ohio, he agrees to shelter Eliza and Harry, and says his equally burly sons will protect them. Van Trompe claims, after... (full context)
Chapter 11: In Which Property Gets into an Improper State of Mind
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...happiness he knew came for his work at Wilson’s factory, and with the love of Eliza and Harry. At the end of this speech, he says he fights desperately for the... (full context)
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...free, moving about as he wishes—a new and exhilarating feeling. He asks Wilson to give Eliza a pin, a gift from Eliza to him one Christmas, and to tell Eliza that... (full context)
Chapter 13: The Quaker Settlement
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Eliza and Harry are safely hidden in the home of Simeon and Rachel Halliday, Quakers who... (full context)
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Simeon enters, announcing to his wife and friends they will leave tonight with Eliza and Harry. He also reports that an escaped slave named Harris—George—has entered the settlement, and... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Free Man’s Defense
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George and Eliza begin to plan their life in Canada. Eliza can wash clothes and work as a... (full context)
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George tells Eliza he loves her more than ever, but he wonders how God can defend those who... (full context)
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Another escaping slave, Jim, and his mother join Eliza, Harry, George, and Phineas on the trip to Canada. As they ride, a scout on... (full context)
Chapter 37: Liberty
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...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... (full context)
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George, Eliza, and Harry travel to Sandusky, near the lake. Eliza has cut her hair in order... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 42: An Authentic Ghost Story
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 43: Results
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George Harris, Eliza, and Harry now live, after having been free five years, in a small apartment outside... (full context)
Chapter 45: Concluding Remarks
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...story is fiction and a composite of different tales, it is based heavily in fact. Eliza, Uncle Tom, Old Prue, Legree, and others all come from stories Beecher Stowe has heard... (full context)