Chapter 33 Notes from Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 33

Chapter 33

Legree notices that Tom is a first-rate hand, but he begins to dislike him after he notices that Tom is visibly disturbed whenever he disciplines another slave. Tom is introduced to another slave, a woman named Cassy. She is emaciated, but clearly a woman who was once beautiful. She is sent to pick cotton with the other slaves, and Tom notices that her hands are smooth, suggesting that she is not accustomed to the labor. The other slaves jeer at her as she works, suggesting that she deserves the punishment of being sent to the cotton fields, but Cassy ignores them. Later, Tom notices that Lucy, a mulatto woman purchased with the same group as he, is suffering and tired. He puts some of his cotton into her basket, and Sambo sees. He strikes Tom in the face with his whip, and Lucy faints at the sight of it. Sambo sticks a pin in Lucy's arm and orders her to get up and get back to work.

Topic Tracking: Violence 4

After Sambo leaves, Tom puts all the cotton in his sack into the woman's, and she tells him he shouldn't, that he will be tortured if he is caught. Tom tells her he could bear it better than she. Cassy overhears him say this and tells him that he doesn't know any better, that he hasn't been on the plantation long enough to see how things work. In a month, he will be through helping other people, she tells him pessimistically. Later in the day, Sambo comes by and verbally harasses her, and she calls him a dog and tells him she'll have him cut to pieces if he continues to threaten her. It becomes clear from Sambo's hasty retreat that the woman has some sort of power. Later, when the slaves are marching toward the scales with their baskets, Sambo tells Legree that Tom has been piling cotton into Lucy's basket. Legree tells them that Tom will have to get a "breaking in." Legree then tells Tom that he means to turn him into an overseer, and Tom tells him he cannot carry out discipline against the other slaves. He lashes Tom across the face with a cowhide and strikes him several times, then asks Tom again if he will do it. Tom again says no. He kicks Tom and asks him if he does not belong to Legree, body and soul:

"'Here, you rascal, you make believe to be so pious,--didn't you never hear, out of your Bible, "Servants, obey yer masters"? An't I yer master? Didn't I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An't yer mine, now, body and soul?'" Chapter 33, pg. 356

Tom says that he does not, that he only belongs to Christ and that Legree can't harm him. Legree orders Sambo and Quimbo to beat Tom, and the two slaves drag him away.

Topic Tracking: Redemption 9

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