Study Guide

Aunt Chloe in Uncle Tom's Cabin

By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Aunt Chloe

Aunt Chloe, Uncle Tom’s wife, is a good, faithful, Christian woman, an affectionate mother, and an excellent cook. We see little of her except when she’s performing a service for others, such as taking care of her children, cooking for the Shelbys, or packing a bundle for Tom. Critics have often noted that she is close to the racial stereotype of the "Mammy," the overweight, jolly, motherly black woman. She selflessly hires herself out as a cook to earn money with which to redeem Tom. But even though she works for years, her young master, George Shelby, arrives at Legree’s plantation too late. Tom is already dying. When she learns that she will never be reunited with Tom, Chloe is utterly devastated, and we start to realize the depth of her feeling.