Study Help Essay Questions


1. Tom has been brought up on charges in the court of public opinion, and you have been part of his defense team. Write a summation to the jury, defending Tom against the charge that he is an "Uncle Tom" — that is, "fawning and servile in his behavior to whites." Stress any points in Tom's experience, behavior, and / or philosophy that seem to you to be relevant in his defense.

2. Simon Legree has been charged with Tom's murder. You considered resigning from your law firm, which Legree hired to defend him, but your boss talked you out of it. Now you have been assigned to write a brief explaining why Legree should be convicted of a lesser charge. Write an essay in which you present any evidence and / or logical arguments you can find to support the idea that, considering Legree's culture and the circumstances surrounding Tom's death, Legree should not be charged with capital murder.

3. Compare and / or contrast any two characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin who seem to you to present an interesting opposition or likeness (for example, Chloe and Cassy, Mrs. Shelby and Marie St. Clare, Haley and Legree, Topsy and Eva, etc.). Focus on three or four points (character traits, important influences, effects on other characters, and so on) that seem to you especially characteristic of your choices.

4. Discuss how (or even whether) Uncle Tom's Cabin might be dramatized and presented in a modern production (in whole or in part) without offending modern audiences.