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[[caption-width-right:300:On top, the actual book. On the bottom, the (infamous) minstrel shows.]]

''Uncle Tom's Cabin'' is a classic anti-slavery work written by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1853, a few years before the AmericanCivilWar. It was [[FairForItsDay ferociously controversial in its day.]]

In the beginning, Uncle Tom, Eliza, her husband George (belonging to another owner, but allowed to have a family), and her son Harry are all living relatively happily in a cabin behind a house in Kentucky. They have a good and kind master, Mr. Arthur Shelby. George is even earning money at another establishment.

Then Mr. Shelby gets into debt gambling, and he has to split up the establishment to pay the bills. Uncle Tom is sold to a slave trader who will then sell him "down the river[[note]]slang for being sold to masters further in the South, where conditions were generally harsher[[/note]]," and goes along with it because if he were to run, he'd just leave many of the other slaves to be sold instead. Harry is also considered for sale as a young and beautiful boy; rather than let literally unspeakable things happen to her child, Eliza scoops him up and makes a run for freedom, going so far as to cross the Ohio river from ice floe to ice floe. This dissuades her pursuers, since they think NoOneCouldSurviveThat. George eventually follows her, escaping from his own owner who treats him ''real'' bad, and years ago separated him from his older sister Emily. Unfortunately, this is after the Fugitive Slave Act, so they have to run for the northern border ''and'' find each other...

Tom is bought by Augustine St. Claire after Tom befriends and rescues his IllGirl daughter Evangeline. [[MagicalNegro Tom]] and [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth Eva]] combined eventually straighten Augustine out -- he was good for a New Orleans native, but he was also a fatalistic atheist. All of them combined help his sister Ophelia, a New Englander who hates slavery but didn't think of slaves as people until Augustine gave her one.

Augustine resolves to set Tom free in the aftermath of Eva's death. Unfortunately, [[DiabolusExMachina his evil wife refuses to be made aware of this]] after Augustine is suddenly and meaninglessly killed in a tavern; she sells all the slaves that aren't her own property. (Yes, there were debts.) Tom ends up in the hands of the vicious sadist Simon Legree, who soon becomes determined to break Tom's Christian spirit or kill him in the attempt.

Stowe wrote this novel as an indictment of slavery. She uses SarcasmMode heavily, reminding readers that Tom, George, and Eliza are property, that attempts to help George and Eliza are illegal, etc. It is well-written and incisive, but the relative idyllism of the first couple of chapters, and her using self-sacrificing Tom as an example (he will do what his masters ask unless it is against his faith), have led to sharp ValuesDissonance since. (There was some at the time, too, but of a different variety.)

TropeNamer for the trope UncleTomFoolery, although that trope was much more exhibited in the minstrel show version created out of nostalgia for the slave trade.

Stowe's novel was adapted for the stage not long after it was released and has been adapted for film many times. The 1914 film has been placed in the NationalFilmRegistry.
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!!This work contains examples of:
* ActionSurvivor: Eliza and her husband George.
* AllLovingHero: Uncle Tom and Evangeline.
* AuthorTract: The novel is an antislavery polemic aimed at female readers, who were considered the guardians of Christian morality at the time. The narrator will frequently talk directly to the reader about how she should feel about what is going on, and ultimately ends up begging the reader to influence her husband into supporting abolition. The book is also very much in favor of supporting Liberia, which [[WorldGoneMad didn't turn out so well]].
* {{Badass Preacher}}s: The Quakers that help Eliza, George and little Harry to run away. [[spoiler: They also help Tom Locker to have his HeelFaceTurn after he's injured and they help him out]].
* BrainlessBeauty: Marie St. Clare.
* BrattyHalfPint: Topsy
* BreakoutCharacter: Mr. Haley.
* BreakTheCutie: Eliza, Uncle Tom, Emmeline.
* BrokenBird: Cassie.
* DastardlyWhiplash: Simon Legree is considered the TropeMaker, although he's a much more shaded, three dimensional character in the book than any of the whiplashes inspired by him, which often turned his persona into a [[ShallowParody mild caricature of its former self.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Augustine and Miss Ophelia.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Miss Ophelia, Cassie.
* HeelFaceTurn:[[spoiler:Tom Loker, the slave hunter; Sambo and Kimbo at Legree's plantation]].
* HeroicBSOD: Tom, during his first days in Legree's plantation. [[spoiler: Luckily for him, when Legree tries to [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown twist the knife even more]], Tom reacts and deal a ShutUpHannibal to him]].
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Tom is whipped to death after helping Cassie and Emmeline to run away. He still manages to live enough to see George Shelby before he dies ''and'' to redeem [[HeelFaceTurn two of his tormentors]], Sambo and Kimbo]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: George Harris's slavery mark on his hand.
* IgnoredEpiphany: Legree has a brief moment of surprise that Tom is still claiming to forgive him even as [[spoiler:he's being whipped to death]]. There's a hint that he might change his mind, but the moment passes and Legree resumes his vicious cruelty.
* IllGirl: Evangeline, who has tuberculosis.
* KnightInSourArmor: Tom, especially when on Legree's plantation.
* MagicalNegro: Tom, especially at the St. Clare home.
* ManlyTears: ''"[[{{Tearjerker}} George Shelby wept tears that honored his manly heart..."]]''
* MessianicArchetype: Tom models his life on Jesus, and does it well enough to shake the lifelong beliefs and habitual cruelties of almost every character he meets. Even Simon Legree, although that one only leads to an IgnoredEpiphany.
* NaiveEverygirl: Poor, poor Emmeline.
* NonRoyalPrincess: Evangeline, Miss Ophelia, Mrs. Alice Shelby, Mrs. Bird.
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler: Cassie]] smothered her baby to save it from a life of slavery.
* PunchClockVillain: Most of the slave traders, auctioneers, and owners. Owning and selling slaves is simply part of their jobs; their aim is to earn money, and they'll be kind or cruel depending on what gives them the most profit. They're villains not primarily because of how they treat the slaves, but because they simply don't think the slaves are fully human beings. Their cruelty is just a matter of efficiency and profit.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Augustine St. Clare]].
* RoyalBrat: St. Clare's nephew Alfred, though he gets better after Eva gives him a WhatTheHellHero.
* RichBitch: Mary St. Clare.
* ShelteredAristocrat: George and Alfred. St. Clair is a more cynical version.
* SlaveryIsASpecialKindOfEvil: A major theme.
* SouthernGentleman: Augustine St. Clair who represents the slave-owning class at its best. Tom nevertheless makes it clear to him that slavery is wrong even under the most benign circumstances.
* StylisticSuck: "Mas'r Seed me Cotch a Coon".
* SweetPollyOliver: [[spoiler: To escape to Canada with her family without being noticed, Eliza must [[ImportantHaircut cut her long hair]] and crossdress at some point. Reversely, little Harry becomes a pint-sized WholesomeCrossdresser and dress up like a little girl]].
* TalkToTheFist: After Simon Legree presses George Shelby's BerserkButton by mocking Shelby for "all this fuss, about" [[spoiler:Tom's murder]].
* TeamDad: Tom takes up this role pretty much towards ''everyone'' in the places he works at. Yes, even at Legree's horrible manse, where he helps the other slaves and they call him "Father Tom".
* TeamMom: Tom's wife Chloe.
** Arguably, also Miss Ophelia. Eva tries to be this, though she's obviously too young and sickly for it.
* TenderTears: Tom cries often, and so does George Shelby.
* TokenGoodTeammate: Though the story is about the evils of the slave trade, and it's heavily implied the more evil masters are more typical, Messrs. Shelby and St. Clare aren't so bad, as far as slave owners go.
** However, the author uses this to show that even "good" masters aren't good -- they may die or become impoverished, leaving the slaves to a cruel master; and even the slaves of a good master would rather be free employees.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Topsy and Eva.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth [[spoiler:Tom and little Evangeline]].
* UncleTomFoolery: The Trope Namer
** Which is a problem, because in the original novel Uncle Tom subverts the foolery: while he remains subservient because of his faith, Tom is still a strong, respected figure. It was the plays and movies that came out during the Jim Crow / segregation years that Uncle Tom was altered to be less "threatening" to white audiences.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Stowe got the inspiration for Eliza's flight across the icy Ohio River from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rankin_%28abolitionist%29#The_real_Eliza an incident her abolition friend John Rankin]] told her on one of her visits to his home (and Underground Railroad hot-spot) along the river.

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!!Tropes unique to the 1914 film:

* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: Eva's soul is shown leaving her body and floating up to angels in Heaven. It's actually more like WingedSoulFliesOffAtDeath except she doesn't have wings. At the end Jim's soul ascends to meet Eva.
* {{Blackface}}: Played straight with Boots Wall and the character of Topsy, maybe because she is the most unpleasant stereotype. Averted with all the other slaves. Sam Lucas, who played Uncle Tom, is believed to be the first black actor to star in a film aimed at white audiences.
* CeilingCling: In a tree rather than a ceiling. Escaped slave Jim Vance hides in the branches of a tree while a slave-catcher posse nails a notice offering a reward for him to the trunk of said tree.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Follows the novel pretty closely, minus all the parts that [[AdaptationDistillation had to be left out]] when making a 45-minute film.
* FreeRangeChildren: Eva is skipping along on the edge of a boat when, not surprisingly, she falls off into the river. In the novel she was rushing to the pier to meet her father.
* TimeSkip: Several, since the movie covers a couple of decades, but one is announced by a title card as two years later.
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