One of the central themes of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, is love. Stowe felt that love could bring an end to the evils of slavery, and be a redemptive force. There is one character in this novel that embodies complete, unfaltering, and unconditional love: this character is Eva St. Clare. The only thing that Eva hates is slavery and mistreatment of others. Eva displays many types of love through the novel as well. She shows maternal love, familial love, and of course Christian love. Eva (along with Tom) is as an obvious Christ figure as well. Christ also had to provide a sort of maternal and familial love to his disciples, and in doing this showed them the Christian way to love. Through her actions Eva had an incredible effect on every character she came into contact with.
[...] Eva reminds all of the slaves: Many of you, I am afraid are very careless. You are thinking only about this world. I want you to remember that there is a beautiful world, where Jesus is if you want to go there, you must not live, idle, careless, thoughtless lives. You must be Christians If you want to be Christians, Jesus will help you. You must pray to him; (Stowe, 296-297) Eva is again instructing them. They must live good lives, and they will be forgiven, and be able to go to Heaven. [...]
[...] This is only one of the representations of Christ that Eva fits into. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus is represented as a man who asks God to pardon others in their offenses against him and God as well. When Jesus is on the cross, about to die, he does not ask God to relieve his suffering, or save his life, but rather asks God to pardon others by saying “Forgive them father, they know not what they (Luke: 23). Eva's concern at her death is also about others, namely Tom. [...]
[...] Tom and Eva taught those that were near them to follow in the footsteps of Christ in the ways that they did. Although it is impossible for Tom to be a supporter of slavery, Eva seems to be the one who hates it more. Until being separated from Mr. Shelby and his family, he seemed contented with his station in life. He had nothing but love for Mr. Shelby who he had taken care of since his birth. All of the Shelby's slaves are happy where they are, so much so that even after they are freed, they choose not to leave. [...]
[...] She is able to love Topsy and later chooses to adopt her and raise her as her own daughter. Later in the book, after St. Clare's death, when Tom is sold and receives the most terrible treatment he has ever had to endure his faith, for the first time, begins to falter. It is only the vision of Eva that reaffirms his faith. Later, upon his second faltering, it is a vision of Jesus that allows Tom to carry on. This is one of the many representations of Eva as a Christ figure in the book. [...]
[...] Another of the roles of a mother is to “nourish the soul” (Sigourney) and it is in this way that Eva is a mother to Topsy and St. Clare. Topsy is wicked, mischievous, wild, and unrefined: Eva's converse. However, her wicked behavior and theft of her possessions doesn't make Eva love her any less. Nothing reaches Topsy enough to change her. Topsy received beatings from her old master, and Christian teachings from Miss Ophelia, but neither abuse nor attention cures her wickedness. [...]
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