Uncle Tom's cabin, described early in the novel, represents the warmth and love of family life. It is a place Tom hearkens back to over the course of his trials. George Shelby wishes to bring Tom home, and at the close of the book, he points to Tom's cabin as a symbol of honest work and Christian faith. Other homes are juxtaposed with the cabin. The Shelby estate is genteel and placid, though disrupted upon the sale of Tom and Harry.
The St. Clare mansion is filled with color, wonderfully decorated, an island of comfort surrounded by the horrors of Louisiana plantation country. The Legree estate is dilapidated and used only to make money—eventually it is “haunted” by ghosts. Legree loves no one, and his destroyed home makes evident this lack of love. George, Eliza, and Harry's new home is, ironically, a place where they might live out the American ideals of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” but it is located in Montreal.
Home also takes on another dimension in the novel: that of a heavenly home after death, in God's abode. Eva claims she is going “home” when she is dying, and slaves who feel they have no home on earth may take comfort in the next life. In heaven the human family is reunited; even though black and white people may not live together in harmony on earth, a Christian belief in the afterlife will guarantee equality and peace.
Home Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin
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?
How easy white folks al’us does things!
Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters . . . . Having, naturally, an organization in which the morale was strongly predominant, together with a greater breadth and cultivation of mind than obtained among his companions . . . .
Of course, in a novel, people’s hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it . . . . But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
But you haven’t got us. We don’t own your laws; we don’t own your country; we stand here as free, under God’s sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we’ll fight for our liberty till we die.
A day of grace is yet held out to us. Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account to answer . . . .For, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law, by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!