Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Lucy, or “Luce” Character Analysis

A very old and feeble slave woman, Lucy is helped by Uncle Tom on Legree’s plantation—he puts additional cotton in her bag, so that she “makes weight” and is not beaten. When Legree demands that she be beaten anyway, Tom refuses, saying he cannot hurt a fellow human being. Lucy also happens, coincidentally, to be the name of the slave woman on La Belle Riviere, whose child is purchased by Legree. This Lucy later kills herself out of despair by throwing herself overboard.

Lucy, or “Luce” Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The Uncle Tom's Cabin quotes below are all either spoken by Lucy, or “Luce” or refer to Lucy, or “Luce”. 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:
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
). 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 12: Select Incident of Lawful Trade Quotes

I know this yer comes kinder hard, at first, Lucy . . . but such a smart, sensible gal as you are, won’t give way to it. You see it’s necessary, and can’t be helped!

Related Characters: Haley (speaker), Lucy, or “Luce”
Page Number: 147
Explanation and Analysis:

Haley has bought Lucy's child but not Lucy - thus, he has separated mother from child. This kind of separation is a central part of the novel, and is portrayed by the author as one of the essential cruelties of slavery - that African American families can be broken apart simply by the will of white men and owners, who seem not even to believe that African Americans can have any kind of family feeling at all. 

Haley attempts to "reason" with Lucy, telling her that nothing else could be done, that he is a businessman and businessmen must profit by things. If this profit comes at the expense of her own happiness, or of the prospect of her life with her child, then that's an unfortunate thing, but it's simply the way the system is designed to work. The author here shows that the logic even of "benevolent" slavery is a terrible and brutal logic, producing only suffering and dehumanization for African Americans. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Uncle Tom's Cabin quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Uncle Tom's Cabin LitChart as a printable PDF.
Uncle tom s cabin.pdf.medium

Lucy, or “Luce” Character Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin

The timeline below shows where the character Lucy, or “Luce” appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12: Select Incident of Lawful Trade
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
A slave woman, Lucy, who had been told by her master that she and her daughter would be sent... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
Tom offers comfort to Lucy but she shrugs it off, moans to herself. That night, she falls overboard and drowns.... (full context)
Chapter 33: Cassy
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...in the fields and appears not to belong in them. Tom helps another old woman, Luce, by placing some of his cotton into her bag to make sure she ends up... (full context)
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Women Theme Icon
...but, realizing that it is Cassy, he goes away sheepishly. Sambo has seen Tom aiding Luce, and Legree resolves that the way he will “harden” Tom is by forcing him to... (full context)
Chapter 36: Emmeline and Cassy
Slavery and Race Theme Icon
Christianity and Christian Charity Theme Icon
Freedom Theme Icon
...the previous day. Tom refuses, since he believes he acted correctly in refusing to whip Lucy. Tom repeats that, although Legree can harm his body, he cannot take Tom’s soul. Tom... (full context)