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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin


by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 38 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 38

  • Legree puts Tom back to work long before he has recovered from the vicious beating.
  • Tom begins to doubt God’s goodness and grows depressed.
  • One evening, as he’s leafing through the Bible, Legree hangs around, mocking Tom’s religion.
  • Legree calls him a fool. He says he meant to put Tom in charge, as an overseer. That offer is still open for Tom, but only if he’s willing to throw his religion in the fire and join Legree’s church.
  • Despite his doubts, Tom refuses.
  • After Legree leaves, Tom is overcome with depression. But then he has a vision of Jesus Christ and joy fills his soul. When Tom comes to from his vision, he no longer feels alone.
  • Legree wonders aloud to Sambo what’s happened to Tom; his faith seems to have been renewed. Sambo wonders if maybe Tom is going to run off. Legree replies that he’d like to see Tom try.
  • That night, Legree hears Tom singing a hymn. He stalks over to Tom and tells him to shut up. Tom says OK, but Legree won’t leave it at that. He hits Tom a few times to make his point.
  • Tom feels an abundance of compassion for the other slaves, especially those who don’t have the comfort of faith in God.
  • One night, Cassy appears at Tom’s window. She asks him if he wants his liberty, if he wants to escape with her tonight. She’s gotten Legree drunk enough that he won’t wake up for a while. Tom could kill him, then all of the slaves could escape.
  • Tom refuses.
  • When Cassy says she’ll do it then, Tom begs her not to "sell her soul to the devil" by murdering Legree. God would ask her to love her enemies, not kill them.
  • Eventually, Cassy is worn down by Tom’s simple faith.
  • Tom asks her if she’ll run away with Emmeline without "bloodguiltiness."
  • She asks him to come with them.
  • No, he says. But he will help the two women escape.
  • Cassy decides to try it.
  • Amen, Tom replies. God will help you.

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 38

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