Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Summary

Chapters XIV–XVI

Summary Chapters XIV–XVI

The role of women in Uncle Tom’s Cabin undergoes a slight complication in these chapters, as the reader encounters women who do not fit into the religious feminine ideal that Stowe has offered so far. Not only does Ophelia differ from previously presented women; Marie offers a sharp contrast to those ideal types. The grating presence of Marie may serve to emphasize the goodness of the women whom Stowe seeks to uphold as models. Moreover, Marie seems to be intended to represent a white woman who is inferior to her own slaves in her personal qualities. This inferiority of character challenges the assumed white-black moral hierarchy.