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Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 26 Summary
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Eva hears Marie slaps Topsy, who is heading into Eva’s room with flowers. Eva calls for her to stop, saying she would like the flowers very much. When Topsy leaves, Eva explains that Topsy is different than she used to be; she’s good now. But of course, Marie refuses to believe that the servant girl has improved. Eva tells her mother that she’s decided to cut off her hair to give away to some of her friends. Marie calls for Miss Ophelia, and St. Clare comes as well. Eva calls all the servants to her room, where she tells them that she is leaving them for a better place, but she wants to give each one of them one of her curls to remember her by. Eva knows that, when they look at the lock of hair, they will remember that God loves them, and that they can go to heaven, too, if they are Christians. The servants enter one by one, each sobbing and taking a blonde curl from Eva’s hand. At last, she gives Topsy one of the curls and everybody is gone. Eva talks to her father seriously about what it is to be a Christian: to love Christ most of all. After that conversation, Eva’s health goes downhill rapidly; it’s just a matter of time before she dies. Uncle Tom spends a lot of time in the sickroom caring for her. She loves to be carried around the grounds. St. Clare often carries her, too, but he isn’t as strong as Tom. Mammy longs to be with Eva, but Marie keeps the woman busy tending to all of Marie’s own complaints. Even though many people are with Eva night and day during her final weeks, the friend who knows Eva best is Uncle Tom. This is because they share each other’s faith. One day, Uncle Tom lets Miss Ophelia know that the day is coming soon – and it’s that night that Eva dies. Marie, Mammy, St. Clare, and Tom are all by the little girl’s side as she dies. Though St. Clare is in agony, Eva feels at peace, looking forward to death as the moment she will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
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