George Shelby specifically identifies Uncle Tom’s cabin as a symbol at the end of the novel. The cabin is a home to Uncle Tom’s family and a place of love and support. Aunt Chloe works there—and, later, as a baker in Louisville—in order to bring Tom back. The cabin is the center of slave life on the Shelby plantation, and though it is not featured in many chapters, it remains an imagined place of rest, comfort, and family. In this sense Uncle Tom’s cabin is analogous to the spiritual rest all humans might find in heaven, if they live according to Christian principles.
Uncle Tom’s cabin Symbol Timeline in Uncle Tom's Cabin
The timeline below shows where the symbol Uncle Tom’s cabin appears in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: An Evening in Uncle Tom’s Cabin
...and the family prepares for the prayer meeting to be held that night in the cabin. The family recounts the previous week’s boisterous meeting, in which Uncle Peter, another slave, sang... (full context)
Chapter 8: Eliza’s Escape
Chapter 44: The Liberator