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'Uncle Tom's Cabin' Quotes

Catalyst for Change Novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe


Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin

W.W. Norton & Company
Study Guide Quotes

Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is as famous as it is controversial. The book helped to flare up feelings for the slaves in the South, but some of the stereotypes have not been appreciated by some readers in more recent years. Whatever your opinion about Stowe's romantic novel, the work is a class in American literature. Here are a few quotes from the book.

  • "Yes Eliza, it's all misery, misery, misery! My life is bitter as wormwood; the very life is burning out of me. I'm a poor, miserable, forlorn drudge; I shall only drag you down with me, that's all. What's the use of our trying to do anything, trying to know anything, trying to be anything? What's the use of living? I wish I was dead!"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 2

  • "This is God's curse on slavery!--a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!--a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 5

  • "If I must be sold, or all the people on the place, and everything go to rack, why, let me be sold. I s'pose I can b'ar it as well as any on 'em."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 5

  • "The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake;--stumbling--leaping--slipping--springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone--her stocking cut from her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 7

  • "You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance; and I hope I shall have a chance, I do! Things have got to a pretty pass, if a woman can't give a warm supper and a bed to poor, starving creatures, just because they are slaves, and have been abused and oppressed all their lives, poor things!"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 9

  • "I have lost two, one after another,--left 'em buried there when I came away; and I had only this one left. I never slept a night without him; he was all I had. He was my comfort and pride, day and night; and, ma'am, they were going to take him away from me,--to sell him,--sell him down south, ma'am, to go all alone,--a baby that had never been away from his mother in his life!"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 9

  • "Her form was the perfection of childish beauty, without its usual chubbiness and squareness of outline. There was about it an undulating and aerial grace, such as one might dream of for some mythic and allegorical being. Her face was remarkable less for its perfect beauty of feature than for a singular and dreamy earnestness of expression, which made the ideal start when they looked at her, and by which the dullest and most literal were impressed, without exactly knowing why."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 14

  • "We don't own your laws; we don't own your country; we stand here as free, under God's sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we'll fight for our liberty till we die."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 17

  • "I looks like gwine to heaven, an't thar where white folks is gwine? S'pose they'd have me thar? I'd rather go to torment, and get away from Mas'r and Missis. I had so."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 18

  • When I have been travel ling up and down on our boats, or about on my collecting tours, and reflected that every brutal, disgusting, mean, low-lived fellow I met, was allowed by our laws to become absolute despot of as many men, women and children, as he could cheat, steal, or gamble money enough to buy,--when I have seen such men in actual ownership of helpless children, of young girls and women,--I have been ready to curse my country, to curse the human race!"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 19

  • "One thing is certain,--that there is a mustering among the masses, the world over; and there is a dis irae coming on, sooner or later. The same thing is working in Europe, in England, and in this country. My mother used to tell me of a millennium that was coming, when Christ should reign, and all men should be free and happy. And she taught me, when I was a boy, to pray, 'Thy kingdom come.' Sometimes I think all this sighing, and groaning, and stirring among the dry bones foretells what she used to tell me was coming. But who may abide the day of His appearing?"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 19

  • "I'm going there, to the spirits bright, Tom; I'm going, before long."
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 22

  • "There, you impudent dog! Now will you learn not to answer back when I speak to you? Take the horse back, and clean him properly. I'll teach you your place!"
    - Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ch. 23

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