Uncle Tom's Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 41 Summary
- While Tom is dying, George Shelby shows up.
- Mrs. Shelby received a letter from Miss Ophelia describing how Tom had been sold off to a new owner after St. Clare’s death. But Miss Ophelia’s letter got lost in the mail for a while and took a long time to arrive at the Shelby household.
- Mrs. Shelby had gotten Tom’s own letter, but was unable to do anything about it while Mr. Shelby was dying.
- Once the estate was settled, Mrs. Shelby sent her son George off to find Tom.
- George Shelby is just in time to see Tom before Tom dies.
- Tom tells George that he’s going to heaven and he’s ready.
- Legree comes by the door and George calls him a satan. He says Legree will get what's coming to him one of these days. But Tom can’t bear to hear of vengeance, even against the man who has treated him so terribly. He hopes that Legree will repent and that they will see him in heaven yet.
- Then Tom dies.
- George confronts Legree. He offers to buy Tom so that George can at least give him a decent burial, but Legree says he doesn’t "sell dead niggers."
- George lets Legree know that he intends to pursue this matter and get justice. But Legree laughs at him. Who will believe the word of black men against the word of a white man?
- George realizes he’s right and that justice will never be done. So he just hauls back and hits Legree with all the strength in him.
- The narrator tells us that instead of reacting badly, it gives Legree some respect for George.
- George takes Tom’s body and buries it carefully, beyond the plantation in the shade of some trees.
- As George leaves, the slaves who helped him bury Tom ask him to please buy them. But unfortunately, George can’t afford it.