In which chapters do you find the two famous death scenes in Uncle Tom's Cabin, and who dies in each scene?

The two famous death scenes, Eva and Tom, are found in chapter 26 and 41, respectively. The death of a Christlike figure is a recurring minor motif in Uncle Tom's Cabin. We see these two characters elevated to a divine status and then killed in a selfless, sacrificial manner. In chapter 26, Eva succumbs to her illness and dies. In chapter 41, Tom is brutally beaten and dies soon after.

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Two of the most profound and pivotal death scenes in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin are the deaths of Evangeline St. Clare (Eva) and Tom. These scenes occur in chapters 26 and 41, respectively. Both characters are elevated to a Christlike status through their deaths, which heavily impact others and encourage personal and social reform.

In chapter 26, entitled "Death," Eva succumbs to her battle with (presumed) tuberculosis and dies. She is a pure, innocent, kind character who sees and treats everyone with equal love, regardless of race and social status.

On her death bed, she continues to advocate for the slaves. She says she would gladly die if it meant they could be freed. She tries to convince her cold-hearted mother, Marie, that the slaves are children of God and asks her to show them kindness. She objects when Marie tries to keep Topsy out of the room. She asks the slaves, whom she considers beloved friends, to gather around her bed, and she gives them each a lock of her hair to remember her by.

In a final act of love and selflessness before dying, she asks her father, Augustine, to free his slaves (he intends to honor her dying wishes, but is unfortunately stabbed and killed before he can do so.) Eva is Christlike in her willingness to die for the sins of others. Her death inspires those around her to do and be better and to treat each other with love and kindness.

In chapter 41, entitled "The Young Master," the novel's titular character dies. After the death of Augustine, Marie disregards the wishes of her daughter and husband and sells Tom to Simon Legree, a cruel and brutal plantation owner.

Two slaves, Cassy and Emmeline, escape from Legree's plantation, sending him into a rage. Legree believes Tom knows their whereabouts. Even in the face of torture and certain death, Tom remains brave and refuses to tell Legree where Cassy and Emmeline escaped to.

Sambo and Quimbo mercilessly beat Tom within an inch of his life. As he lies dying, Tom forgives Legree, Sambo, and Quimbo. Sambo and Quimbo show remorse for their behavior and cry for their part in Tom's impending death.

George Shelby arrives at the plantation to buy Tom back, but by the time he arrives, Tom is dying. In his final moments, Tom tells George that he is going home to heaven and asks him not to tell Tom's wife, Chloe, how he died.

Through Tom's death, we once again see the motif of a Christlike sacrifice. Much like Christ, Tom endures his suffering with selflessness, bravery and courage and lovingly forgives those who have wronged him.

Just as Eva's death inspires Ophelia and St. Clare to acknowledge and change their wrongful behaviors, Tom's death causes Sambo and Quimbo to regret their cruelty and inspires George to free his slaves.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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