Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin Violence Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"You know poor little Carlo, that you gave me," added George; "the creature has been about all the comfort that I've had. He has slept with me nights, and followed me around days, and kind o' looked at me as if he understood how I felt. Well, the other day I was just feeding him with a few old scraps I picked up by the kitchen door, and Mas'r came along, and said I was feeding him up at his expense, and that he couldn't afford to have every nigger keeping his dog, and ordered me to tie a stone to his neck and throw him in the pond."
"O, George, you didn't do it!"
"Do it? not I! – but he did. Mas'r and Tom pelted the poor drowning creature with stones. Poor thing! he looked at me so mournful, as if he wondered why I didn't save him. I had to take a flogging because I wouldn't do it myself. I don't care. Mas'r will find out that I'm one that whipping won't tame. My day will come yet, if he don't look out." (3.24-26)
As if George’s master didn’t seem violent enough based on his treatment of George himself, Stowe gives us this image of him drowning a dog and stoning it as it dies. That someone who could be this cruel to a defenseless animal would be able to own the bodies of men and women is a source of extreme horror. What violence might he perpetrate on their bodies? The mind boggles, and not in a good way.
Standing by the bar, in the corner of the room, was a brawny, muscular man, full six feet in height, and broad in proportion. He was dressed in a coat of buffalo-skin, made with the hair outward, which gave him a shaggy and fierce appearance, perfectly in keeping with the whole air of his physiognomy. In the head and face every organ and lineament expressive of brutal and unhesitating violence was in a state of the highest possible development. Indeed, could our readers fancy a bull-dog come unto man's estate, and walking about in a hat and coat, they would have no unapt idea of the general style and effect of his physique. (8.5)
Tom Loker’s violent tendencies are obvious in his face and general manner. Appearances are rarely deceiving in this novel, and we’ll see that Tom’s bloodthirst is boundless. The idea that you can tell whether someone is violent or kind just by looking at them is one of the conventions of the sentimental novel.
"I s'pose you've got good dogs," said Haley.
"First rate," said Marks. "But what's the use? you han't got nothin' o' hers to smell on."
"Yes, I have," said Haley, triumphantly. "Here's her shawl she left on the bed in her hurry; she left her bonnet, too.
"That ar's lucky," said Loker; "fork over."
"Though the dogs might damage the gal, if they come on her unawars," said Haley.
"That ar's a consideration," said Marks. "Our dogs tore a feller half to pieces, once, down in Mobile, 'fore we could get 'em off."
"Well, ye see, for this sort that's to be sold for their looks, that ar won't answer, ye see," said Haley. (8.75-81)
Slave catchers like Haley, Marks, and Loker not only beat, whip, and torment their slaves – they’ll set vicious dogs on them. The only check to this violence is the fear that the dogs might do so much harm to a woman that she would no longer be valuable as a sex slave. Shudder.