Notes on Uncle Tom's Cabin Themes

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Uncle Tom's Cabin Topic Tracking: Redemption

Chapter 10

Redemption 1: Tom's firm belief that his soul will be redeemed in the afterlife accounts for his ability to weather otherwise unbearable circumstances. His rigid faith and piety are a major source of controversy surrounding the novel, as many critics fault the character for his servitude and willingness to bear even the most blatant injustices.

Chapter 16

Redemption 2: Tom, knowing that St. Clare is not a practicing Christian and uncertain as to whether his master believes in God, prays that St. Clare converts, so that his kindness and good deeds on earth will not go unrewarded in the afterlife.

Chapter 18

Redemption 3: Again, Tom prays for the redemption of St. Clare's soul, an act that St. Clare finds amusing but also secretly moving.

Redemption 4: Tom tries to comfort a suffering and afflicted person by promising that if she believes in Christ, she will be rewarded in Heaven despite her suffering on earth.

Redemption 5: Tom is confronted with a challenging case, as Prue's suffering at the hands of her white torturers has been so great that she wants no part of a Heaven filled with white people. Her utter dejection and discouragement are unsettling to Tom, who firmly believes that Prue is destined for suffering in the afterlife if she cannot accept Christ. Her utter despair fills him with sorrow, and he is overcome with pity for her.

Chapter 24

Redemption 6: Another parallel is drawn between Eva and Christ, as Eva says she would gladly give her life so that others might not suffer, causing the servants to remark that she is too pure to be wholly of this world.

Chapter 26

Redemption 7: Eva expresses her fear that her father will not be redeemed if he does not learn to accept and love God.

Chapter 27

Redemption 8: St. Clare begins to reluctantly explore religion, feeling that it might somehow bring him closer to his beloved daughter.

Chapter 33

Redemption 9: In the face of a gruesome beating by Legree and his overseers, Tom's faith is tested, but he bears it and doesn't fight back, believing that if he answers only to God, his faith and piety will be redeemed and rewarded.

Chapter 34

Redemption 10: Tom shares with Cassy his belief that it is better to be beaten down than to become so cruel as to do the same to others, a view she has never considered, as she is not a Christian and is deeply suspicious that God exists. The thought of becoming as depraved as Legree or Sambo or Quimbo and dispensing cruelty such as she herself has suffered is too much for her.

Chapter 36

Redemption 11: Tom reveals just how devoted he is to God when he tells Legree that he is not afraid of death, as it will bring him closer to glory in Heaven.

Chapter 38

Redemption 12: Tom's vision makes him realize that his faith will be rewarded; seeing the figure rejuvenates him at a time when he is despairing and discouraged.

Chapter 40

Redemption 13: Tom's forgiveness of Legree moves Sambo and Quimbo to such a degree that they begin to believe Tom that redemption in Heaven is possible and worth striving for.

Chapter 41

Redemption 14: Tom knows his faith is going to be rewarded, and he is so peaceful at last that he does not fear death, declaring triumphantly that he has won, in spite of everything.

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