Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reading Room: UNCLE TOM'S CABIN Conclusion

Depending on your sensitivity, may be NSFW...
2nd Edition cover from 1954.
We have already seen...
While travelling on a riverboat with his new master, Tom meets a little girl named Eva, who quickly befriends him.
When Eva falls into the river, Tom dives in to save her, and her father, Augustine St. Clare, gratefully agrees to buy Tom from Haley.
Tom travels to the St Clares' home in New Orleans, where he grows increasingly close to Eva, with whom he shares a devout Christianity.
Up North, George and Eliza remain in flight from Loker and his men.
When the slavehunter attempts to capture them, George shoots him.
Eliza convinces George and the Quakers to bring the wounded Loker to the next settlement, where he can be healed.
Meanwhile, in New Orleans, St. Clare discusses slavery with his cousin Ophelia, who opposes slavery as an institution but harbors deep prejudices against blacks.
St. Clare, by contrast, feels no hostility against blacks but tolerates slavery because he feels powerless to change it.
To help Ophelia overcome her bigotry, he buys Topsy, a young black girl who was abused by her past master and arranges for Ophelia to begin educating her.
Eva grows very ill. She slowly weakens, then dies, with a vision of heaven before her.
Her death has a profound effect on everyone who knew her: Ophelia resolves to love the slaves, Topsy learns to trust and feel attached to others, and St. Clare decides to set Tom free.
However, before he can act on his decision, St. Clare is stabbed to death while trying to settle a brawl. As he dies, he at last finds God and goes to be reunited with his mother in heaven.
St. Clare’s cruel wife, Marie, decides to go against his wishes and, instead of freeing the slaves, sends them to a slave market to be sold...
Adaptation script by Evelyn Goodman (one of Classic Comics/Classics Illustrated's mainstays), art is by Rolland H Livingstone, who did only two other Classic issues; Rip Van Winkle and Headless Horseman.
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