Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 20: Summary and Analysis

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Chapter 20: Summary and Analysis

New Character:
Topsy: eight or nine-year-old slave girl whom St. Clare purchases

Summary
St. Clare decides to put his and Miss Ophelia’s ideas about slavery to the test. He buys Topsy, a slave girl, for Ophelia to raise and educate. Topsy’s expression is “an odd mixture of shrewdness and cunning” and “the most doleful gravity and solemnity.” At first, Ophelia protests that she has no use for Topsy, being also repulsed by the slave girl. St. Clare, however, is quick to point out the hypocrisy of Christians like Ophelia, who willingly send missionaries overseas, but refuse to help and reform blacks in their own homes. St. Clare also recounts some of Topsy’s past, in which she had...

(The entire section is 938 words.)