Absolute Despair!

Chapter XXIX – The Unprotected
The servants know they are not safe under the care of Mrs. St. Clare, now that Mr. St. Clare is gone, and even Miss Ophelia is of no influence when she attempts to persuade Marie not to send Rosa out to be whipped by a man, but rather to do it herself.  The servants over hear that they are to be sold, and when Ophelia approaches Marie regarding Tom’s freedom, Marie is indignant because she knows Tom is one of the more valuable servants and cannot believe he would even care about his liberty.  Miss Ophelia desperately writes a letter to Mr. Shelby for help.

Tom is purchased by Simon Legree.

Chapter XXX – The Slave Warehouse
This is a place where slaves are brought to be sold and, as for many, separated from loved ones; they must be made to look healthy and well with a bright attitude so as to catch a fair price or else be subject to cruelty.  Here is the story of a mother and her fifteen-year old daughter, Susan and Emmeline respectfully, anticipating their separation at auction and their master, a Christian man, who was forced to sell his servants, although he was uncomfortable about it, yet, the value was too great for his morality.  Susan’s new master could not afford to take Emmeline, too; Emmeline was sold to Mr. Legree, along with Tom and several others.

Chapter XXXI – The Middle Passage
Simon Legree takes his new servants, chains their legs and wrists, two by two, and heads to his plantation.  He is the extreme opposite of a slave owner, as we have seen.  He reduces his slaves to nothing by taking all of their belongings, keeping them dressed in rags, and threatening their lives.  His plans for Emmeline are obvious.  Poor girl!

Chapter XXXII – Dark Places
Legree’s property is disheveled and neglected.  He keeps two other slaves as his principle hands, and he has trained them to be as brutal as he is, while all of the slaves have learned to abuse the weak as a way to survive.  Meanwhile, Legree takes Emmeline into the house with him, though it is apparent that he already keeps another slave woman, and Tom is reduced to sleep in straw on the floor among other servants in a small, putrid shanty.  Tom was able to share his Bible with a couple of women who had never heard Scripture before, and he question whether it is possible for the untrained to ever have hope in misery.  

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