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Uncle Toms Cabin Character Essays

Uncle Tom

The book’s title character, hero, and moral center, Uncle Tom is the head slave of the Shelby estate, sold to pay off Mr. Shelby’s debt. Uncle Tom’s new master, St. Clare, is a… (read full character analysis)

Eliza Harris

Maid to Mrs. Shelby, Eliza learns that her son Harry is to be sold along with Tom and escapes in the night with her son. Her husband, George, has also recently escaped his… (read full character analysis)

George Harris

An intelligent man, slave to a cruel master, George escapes in the guise of a Spanish gentleman and later reunites with Eliza and defends his freedom against Tom Loker and Marks, who have been… (read full character analysis)

Mrs. Shelby

Mr. Shelby’s wife, Mrs. Shelby is extremely kind to her slaves, and she comes to believe that slavery is a grave sin after she learns that Tom and Harry are to be sold. She… (read full character analysis)

Simon Legree

A cruel master, hateful of religion, superstitious, and determined to “break” Tom, Simon Legree is the novel’s antagonist. His plantation near the Red River is characterized by its state of physical and moral disrepair… (read full character analysis)

Cassy

A fair-skinned black woman, Cassy has lived a life of misfortune, moving from one man to another but managing to learn to read and write, to speak French, and to gain knowledge of the Christian… (read full character analysis)

Emmeline

Sold to the Legree estate at the same time as Tom, Emmeline is an attractive teenager “kept” by Legree in his own home for his personal amusement. This position is similar to the one… (read full character analysis)

Haley

A slave-trader, Haley is owed a debt by Mr. Shelby and is given, as payment, Uncle Tom and Harry. Harry and Eliza escape, thus angering Haley, and he dispatches Tom Loker and Marks to… (read full character analysis)

Aunt Chloe

Uncle Tom’s wife, Aunt Chloe is an important member of the Shelby estate. She is terribly upset when Tom is sold and finds work as a baker in Louisville, with her wages going to… (read full character analysis)

Augustine St. Clare

A slave-owner in New Orleans, St. Clare is Tom’s second owner. He is a character of complex morality: he does not condone slavery and believes God will strike back against this injustice, but until… (read full character analysis)

Eva St. Clare

St. Clare’s lovely and deeply religious daughter, Eva becomes close friends with after Tom rescues her from drowning. Eva and Tom study the Bible together and pray, and Eva serves as an inspiration to… (read full character analysis)

Miss Ophelia

A stern and religious woman from Vermont, Miss Ophelia is St. Clare's cousin. She moves to New Orleans to live in the St. Clare household and look after Eva, because Marie is often… (read full character analysis)

Topsy

A young slave child from abusive circumstances, Topsy is purchased by St. Clare and given to Ophelia in order that she might raise her and teach her Christian values. Initially Topsy misbehaves, but after befriending… (read full character analysis)

Tom Loker

A cruel slave-catcher, Tom Loker, along with Marks, promises Haley that he will find Eliza and Harry and return the latter to Haley and selling the former into prostitution. Loker is shot by George… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Wilson

Manager of the factory where George Harris used to work, Mr. Wilson spots Harris in disguise and warns him that, by fleeing, Harris is breaking the law and Christian teaching. Harris manages to convince Wilson… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Symmes

A neighbor of the Shelbys, Mr. Symmes helps Eliza and Harry to escape by not providing information of their whereabouts to their former master. He claims that, although Mr. Shelby might be angry, he… (read full character analysis)

Lucy, or “Luce”

A very old and feeble slave woman, Lucy is helped by Uncle Tom on Legree’s plantation—he puts additional cotton in her bag, so that she “makes weight” and is not beaten. When Legree demands… (read full character analysis)

Minor Characters

Harry Harris

A remarkably beautiful child and the only surviving son of Eliza and George, Harry escapes with Eliza through Ohio and is later raised in Canada as a free child.

Marie St. Clare

St. Clare’s ill-tempered and hypochondriacal wife, Marie St. Clare is a distant, unfeeling mother, yet she argues that no one in the family understands her needs. Marie believes that slaves are a “degraded race” and that they should be treated firmly and without fellow-feeling.

Mammy

An older slave in the St. Clare household, Mammy takes care of Eva, particularly before the arrival of Miss Ophelia. Marie believes, hypocritically, that Mammy complains far too often of her poor health.

Madame de Thoux

A wealthy, well-dressed woman who has inherited money from a husband in the West Indies, Madame de Thoux, of mixed race, is revealed to be the long-lost sister of George Harris, sold when Harris was very young. De Thoux rejoins the Harrises in Canada.

Adolph

A funny and theatrical slave in the St. Clare household, Adolph steals his master’s clothes and manages the house’s finances poorly. St. Clare is nevertheless kind to Adolph, as he is to all his slaves.

Sam

A cunning slave on the Shelby estate, Sam pretends to help Haley find Eliza and Harry, instead making sure their trip takes far longer than expected. This enables Eliza and Harry to escape.

Marks

A slave-catcher with Tom Loker, Marks, a small man, is revealed to be a coward, as he runs away after Tom Loker is shot. Marks later misses George, Eliza, and Harry as they cross over to Canada in disguise.

Phineas Fletcher

A recent convert to Quakerism, Phineas Fletcher helps George, Eliza, and Harry to escape and pushes Tom Loker into a ravine, wounding him. Fletcher practices the Quaker faith but retains a righteously violent streak not entirely in keeping with his new faith.

The Hallidays, the Stedmans, and Michael

Quakers who assist Eliza, George, and Harry in their escape to Canada.

John Van Trompe

A large man, once owner of many slaves in Kentucky, who takes in Eliza and Harry. Van Trompe will only join a church that explicitly identifies slavery as a human evil.

Andy

A slave on the Shelby estate who, along with Sam, distracts Haley in his search for Eliza and Harry.

Cudjoe and Dinah

Servants to Senator and Mrs. Bird, they tend to Eliza and Harry.

Prue

An old slave woman who lives on an estate near the St. Clares’home, Prue drinks heavily out of despair over the cruelties she has endured. Prue is whipped by her master for stealing money to buy alcohol. She is then left in the basement and dies there.

Schlegel, Chris. "Uncle Tom's Cabin Characters." LitCharts. LitCharts LLC, 17 Sep 2013. Web. 10 Mar 2018.

Schlegel, Chris. "Uncle Tom's Cabin Characters." LitCharts LLC, September 17, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2018. http://www.litcharts.com/lit/uncle-tom-s-cabin/characters.

Average Overall Rating: 5
Total Votes: 125

 

Uncle Tom- is a slave who is the main character of the story.  He is extremely pious and caring.  He is willing to give up his wife and his family to save others.  He loves beauty, and lives his life to convert those around him to Christianity.  Even when he is treated badly, he does his work faithfully and to the best of his ability.
Mr. Haley- A slave trader who buys Uncle Tom and Harry, Mr. Haley is a greedy man who tells himself that he is kind to his slaves. 
Mr. Shelby-Kentucky planter who falls into debt and is forced to sell his best slave.  He is a kind and slightly indulgent master but not a good enough businessman to keep himself out of debt.
Mrs. Shelby- the pious wife of the Kentucky planter, Mrs. Shelby cares about the souls of her slaves.  Deep down she does not believe in slavery, but does believe in keeping her promises.  When her husband dies, Mrs. Shelby takes over the plantation and gets it out of debt. 
George Shelby- the son of the Shelby's, George is a good friend of Uncle Tom's who used to read the bible to him.  George is considerate and loving. 
Eliza Harris- the Shelby's quadroon slave who is a pet of Mrs. Shelby.  Like her mistress, she is very pious.  She is also exceptionally devoted to her son, Harry. 
George Harris-Eliza's husband who lives on a different plantation.  He is a very light skinned mulatto man, and his master becomes jealous of some of his accomplishments.  He is then degraded and abused, so he decides to run away.  George is intelligent and is devoted to his family and to his freedom.
Harry Harris-Eliza and George's son, Harry is a talented actor and dancer, which is why Mr. Haley wants to buy him. 
Aunt Chloe- the wife of Uncle Tom, Aunt Chloe is a pious woman who works hard for her master and mistress.  She is the cook for the Shelby household. 
Sam Andy-Two of the Shelby's slaves that try to "help" Mr. Haley capture Eliza and Harry.
Mr. Bird- Ohio senator that believed that the fugitive slave law was a just law.  A very compassionate man, when Eliza shows up at his door with Harry, he gives her food, clothing, and money to help her escape.
Mrs. Bird- A very pious woman who normally does not get involved in politics.  She is firmly against the fugitive slave law saying that it is unchristian not to help people in need. 
Tom Loker- the ex-partner of Mr. Haley, Loker heads the search for the missing Eliza and Harry.  He is ruthless until he is shot, then he sees the error in his ways and gives up the slave trade.
Marks-Loker's partner who leaves him to die when he is shot.
Eva St. Clare-the young beautiful blonde child, Eva is an angel to anyone who knows her.  She is extremely compassionate and wise for her age.  As she grows, she comes to be extremely religious influencing everyone around her with her faith.  She can not stand suffering of any creature and loves everyone around her.
Augustine St. Clare-Eva's father, Augustine lives his whole life with a broken heart.  He married a southern belle, and lived off his and her fortune.  He laughed at life and had a very sarcastic wit.  He adored his daughter and indulged his wife and his servants.  St. Clare hated slavery but was too lazy to make a difference.  Slavery becomes a good friend of Tom's and though he is originally an atheist, the influences of his daughter and Tom make him change his mind. 
Marie St. Clare-wife of Augustine and mother of Eva, Marie is a selfish southern slaveholder.  She wants everything to revolve around her.  She is sickly and treats her slaves very poorly. She is not a devoted parent and cares very little for others feelings.
Ophelia St. Clare-Augustine's cousin who comes to help take care of Eva and to run the household.  She was born in New England and shows the Northern prejudices towards Africans.  She believes that slavery is wrong, and like many of the other characters, is very pious. 
Dinnah-the cook of the St. Clare household who does not get along with Ophelia.
Adolph- the spoiled valet of St. Clare who likes to wear his masters clothes.
Rosa and Jane- two quadroon slaves in the St. Clare household who thinks they are better than other full black slaves are.
Topsy- an African child who St. Clare buys for Ophelia, Topsy is a girl who hates to be good.  She is exceptionally intelligent, and likes to play pranks.  She does not see the reason for being good until she is influenced by Eva. 
Alfred St. Clare-the brother of Augustine, Alfred is the portrait of a southern slaveholder.  He is hard with his slaves and believes in the system.
Henrique- the son of Alfred and the cousin of Eva, Henrique is an abusive owner of his slaves.  Eva tries to get him to love his slaves, but he does not know how to treat them with kindness.
Simon Legree-Tom's last master, Legree is shown to be evil.  He works his slaves to death, and does not care about them at all.  He is superstitious and mean spirited.  Though he originally bought Tom for an overseer but ended up hating him for his piety.
Emmeline-a beautiful quadroon slave girl that Legree bought to be his concubine, Emmeline is a scared but pious girl. 
Sambo Quimbo-Legree's two black overseers that are just as cruel as their master.  At the end of the story however, they convert to Christianity.
Cassy-the regal concubine of Legree's whose heart is filled with hatred for her master.  She is the mother of Eliza, but the child was torn from her when she was young.  She does not believe in God, though she helps some of the slaves on the plantation.  She is beautiful, intelligent, and well educated, but the loss of her children has made her half crazy.
Madame Thoux- the long lost sister of George Harris that finds him in Canada and provides him with the education he's always wanted.