Uncle Tom's Cabin Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Uncle Tom's Cabin: Novel Summary: Chapters 28-30

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Chapter 28: The day goes by, and one day St. Clare informs Tom that he intends to free him.  Tom is overjoyed and St. Clare asks him why he wants to leave so badly.  Tom says that it is not that he wants to leave, but that he wants to be free.  St. Clare told him that he would begin drawing up the papers, but Tom said he would not go until St. Clare did not need him anymore.  At the same time, Miss Ophelia asks Augustine if she could buy Topsy.  St. Clare asks her why, and he says so that when she leaves she could take the child north and have her freed.  St. Clare agrees, and Miss Ophelia makes him sign the papers that day.  She also asks him if he has made any provisions for his own servants in case of his death, and he said that he means to, but has not yet.  She tells him to do it quickly, and he brushes her off.  After having another religious conversation with Tom, St. Clare leaves the house one afternoon and comes home stabbed because he tried to stop a fight in a tavern.  With Tom praying for him, St. Clare dies, without leaving any provisions for his servants. 
Chapter 29: St. Clare's death brought immense amounts of sadness to his household, not only because he was loved, but also because the servants were afraid.  Marie was a much harsher master with her servants, and proved it when she sent out a slave girl Rosa to be whipped.  Her lawyers came and discussed with her what to do with her property, and she decided to sell most of the land and servants and move back into her brother's house.  Tom during this time went to visit Miss Ophelia and told her of the master's plan to set him free. Miss Ophelia believed him, but when she tried to talk to Marie about the plan, Marie refused.  Tom, along with many of the other slaves, was sent to be sold the following day at a slave auction. 
Chapter 30: The servants of the St. Clare household did not have an easy time at the house where slaves were brought before auction.  Living their lives like spoilt children, they thought themselves better than they thought their peers.  At the slave warehouse they were well fed and well taken care of, but some like Tom found it hard to appear happy and social.  At the house, two other characters enter the story.  One was Susan and the other was her beautiful quadroon daughter, Emmeline.  The two women were praying to go to the same master the next day at the auction, but they both despaired.  The next day the slaves were inspected by prospective buyers and auctioned off.  Tom was particularly repulsed by one man, and that is the man who ended up purchasing him.  The man also purchased Emmeline, though her Mother was purchased by another kind looking gentleman. 


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