Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
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Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 40 Summary

  • Legree takes out his frustration over Cassy and Emmeline’s escape on Tom. He says to himself, "I hate him! And isn’t he MINE? Can’t I do what I like with him?" Legree decides that now there’s no one stopping him from treating Tom badly.
  • Legree and some other men go into the swamp to search for the runaway women.
  • Cassy observes the hunt continuing from the attic. She claims that if it weren’t for Emmeline, she’d go downstairs and let them shoot her. When Emmeline caresses her, she pulls back and says she doesn’t want to love anything ever again.
  • Emmeline says that she’s lost her own mother and wants to love Cassy, even if Cassy doesn’t love her back. Then she says that Cassy needs to trust in God.
  • The hunt for Cassy and Emmeline is long and futile.
  • Infuriated, Legree, Sambo, and Quimbo go find Tom.
  • Tom admits that he knows where Cassy and Emmeline are, but he refuses to tell, even if Legree will kill him for keeping the secret.
  • Legree starts to beat him viciously.
  • But even though Tom is dying, he’s not alone. The narrator assures us that God is with him.
  • Sambo realizes that Tom is almost dead.
  • Even as Sambo and Quimbo are beating him to death, Tom opens his eyes and says he forgives them. Then he faints.
  • Legree leaves and Sambo and Quimbo begin to feel guilty about what they’ve just done.
  • Tom revives long enough to listen to them repent. He tells them that Jesus Christ will forgive them and the two men repent and believe.

Next Page: Chapter 41
Previous Page: Chapter 39

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