Uncle Tom's Cabin
The tyrant [George’s master] observed the whisper, and conjectured its import, though he could not hear what was said; and he inwardly strengthened himself in his determination to keep the power he possessed over his victim.
George was taken home, and put to the meanest drudgery of the farm. He had been able to repress every disrespectful word; but the flashing eye, the gloomy and troubled brow, were part of a natural language that could not be repressed, – indubitable signs, which showed too plainly that the man could not become a thing. (2.16-17)
"My master! and who made him my master? That's what I think of – what right has he to me? I'm a man as much as he is. I'm a better man than he is. I know more about business than he does; I am a better manager than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand, – and I've learned it all myself, and no thanks to him, – I've learned it in spite of him; and now what right has he to make a dray-horse of me? – to take me from things I can do, and do better than he can, and put me to work that any horse can do? He tries to do it; he says he'll bring me down and humble me, and he puts me to just the hardest, meanest and dirtiest work, on purpose!" (3.16)
"Don't you know a slave can't be married? There is no law in this country for that; I can't hold you for my wife, if he chooses to part us. That's why I wish I'd never seen you, – why I wish I'd never been born; it would have been better for us both, – it would have been better for this poor child if he had never been born. All this may happen to him yet!"
"O, but master is so kind!"
"Yes, but who knows? – he may die – and then he may be sold to nobody knows who. What pleasure is it that he is handsome, and smart, and bright? I tell you, Eliza, that a sword will pierce through your soul for every good and pleasant thing your child is or has; it will make him worth too much for you to keep."
The words smote heavily on Eliza's heart; the vision of the trader came before her eyes, and, as if some one had struck her a deadly blow, she turned pale and gasped for breath. (3.34-37)