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Alfred and Henrique end their visit. Eva’s health begins to fail. Marie, who has never shown any interest in her child before, now begins to moan in motherly despair, saying that her child is dying, and that the impending tragedy affects her more than anyone else. At one point, Eva appears to recover, but the episode proves only a deceptive lull in her decline. However, she continues to treat the slaves generously, telling Tom that she would die for the slaves of the South if it would alleviate their suffering. She talks to her father and asks him if all the slaves could be set free; she asks him to work for their freedom as she would have if she had lived beyond childhood. He says that he will do what he can but does promise to free Tom if she dies. She tells him she will soon go to the savior’s house and pleads with him to follow her there one day.
On a Sunday afternoon, Marie lounges on the veranda complaining to St. Clare when Miss Ophelia comes in indignantly, saying that she can no longer stand Topsy. St. Clare asks her how, if her Gospel cannot suffice to save one child, she expects missionaries to go out among thousands. Eva, who has been sitting on her father’s lap, now hops down and beckons silently to Topsy to follow her. They enter a little glass room at the corner of the veranda. She asks Topsy if she loves anyone. Topsy replies that she has been deprived of all family, left alone in the world without anyone to love or to love her in return. Eva tells her that Miss Ophelia would love her if she were good. Topsy laughs and says that Miss Ophelia cannot even bear to have Topsy touch her, because Topsy is black. Eva lays her hand on Topsy’s shoulder and tells her that she loves her, and tells her that she should be good for her sake. She adds that Jesus loves her as well. Topsy begins to cry and promises to try to be good.
The adults have overheard the conversation, and Miss Ophelia tells St. Clare that she always has had a prejudice against blacks, and that it is true that she could never bear to have Topsy touch her. She had not realized, however, that Topsy had known this. She says she wishes she could learn to shed some of her prejudices, and suggests that Eva might teach her.
Eva requests that Miss Ophelia cut some of the curls from her hair; she then asks that all the slaves be convened. Lying weakly in her bed, she addresses the slaves, telling them to be good Christians and love one another. Then she gives each of them a lock of her hair by which to remember her. Later, after the slaves have left the room, Eva asks her father if he is a Christian and tells him of the land she soon will enter. He sees the fervor in her heart but fails to feel it himself. At last, Eva dies as St. Clare, Ophelia, and Marie look on. St. Clare asks her to tell them what she sees, and she replies, “Oh! love,—joy,—peace!”
After Eva’s funeral, the house enters into mourning, but the slaves are unable to express their grief, because Marie demands all of their attention. Marie screams and carries on, but St. Clare is too deep in mourning to shed a single tear. Tom talks to St. Clare of the glory of heaven, but St. Clare finds himself incapable of believing. He longs to find God, but he feels that when he prays, no one is listening. Uncle Tom prays for him when his master cannot. When St. Clare hears Tom pray, he almost feels the awakening of faith inside himself.
Ophelia reports to her cousin that she has managed to reform Topsy’s wild ways. She asks St. Clare to give her legal ownership of Topsy, in order that she might take her to the North and set her free. She has instilled in Topsy the values of Christianity but knows that the experiences of slavery would beat them back out of her. St. Clare writes the deed then and there, at his cousin’s insistence. Ophelia then asks if he has made provision for his other slaves. She reminds him that, in the case of his death, they might go to cruel owners. St. Clare says he will provide for them someday. He then goes off to a café to read the newspaper and is stabbed in a fight between two drunken men. Other men from the café take St. Clare home, who is laid out on a shutter. St. Clare asks Tom to pray for him and then mumbles his own prayers. He says he is coming home at last. Just before he dies, his eyes open and he says with joy, “Mother!”
In the analysis of Chapters XXIV–XXVIII of Uncle Tom's Cabin, would it be ok if the reference to Uncle Tom's death was removed? It was really a spoiler for me, reading each analysis after finishing the set of chapters for that analysis, and I think other readers won't like these kinds of spoilers as well. Thanks and
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This really helped with my reading of the book. It made it so much easier!! There wasn't any heavy vocab to go through, and it helped me understand the context easily. I will definitely come to this website first from now on!!
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Which chapters would you say describes, Simon Legrre, Miss Ophelia and Eva's attitude towards slavery?
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Take a Study Break!