Progression of Selected Chapters

This section offers several options for excerpting key chapters from Stowe's long novel for use in the classroom. The Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture website offers the full novel online -- teachers and students may freely access and print any or all chapters. Teachers who wish to offer students a sense of the novel's overall plot may also wish to supplement selected chapters with plot summaries of other important chapters. See Resources for links to sites that offer plot summaries.

  • Option A : 1 week or less
    Read: one or all of the four starred () chapters
    Stars indicate those chapters featured prominently in this site's lesson plans, specifically the lessons in Unit 2. These three chapters can stand alone and will introduce students to Stowe's central concerns.

  • Option B : 2 weeks
    Read: the 10 chapters listed in bold
    The selection of 10 chapters in bold includes the novel's most famous events and emphasizes Tom's story. Students will get a clear sense of Stowe's argument as well as the novel's plot by reading these 10 chapters, which together make up less than of the novel's length. In order to fill in any gaps in the plot, teachers may also wish to offer plot summaries of the other chapters listed below. See Resources for links to websites that offer plot summaries.

  • Option C : more than 2 weeks
    Read: all 31 chapters listed below
    The chapters listed below account for 2/3 of the novel's length. This option offers students a clear sense of Stowe's argument and the novel's plot, including both Tom's story and the story of George and Eliza Harris.

    List of Selected Chapters

    Note : Stowe's novel contains two major, virtually unconnected plotlines: the story of Uncle Tom and the story of George and Eliza Harris. Teachers who wish to follow only one of the two plotlines may do so by referring to the abbreviations UT (Uncle Tom's Story) and GE (George and Eliza's story).

    Note : For an electronic edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin, printable by chapter, go to

  • Chapter I In Which the Reader is Introduced ... UT, GE
    Chapter III The Husband and Father GE
    Chapter IV An Evening in Uncle Tom's Cabin UT
    Chapter V Showing the Feelings of Living Property ... UT, GE
    Chapter VII The Mother's Struggle GE
    Chapter IX In Which it Appears that a Senator ... GE
    Chapter X The Property is Carried Off UT
    Chapter XI In Which Property Gets Into an Improper ... GE
    Chapter XII Select Incident of Lawful Trade UT
    Chapter XIII The Quaker Settlement GE
    Chapter XV Of Tom's New Master, and Various ... UT
    Chapter XVI Tom's Mistress and Her Opinions UT
    Chapter XVII The Freeman's Defense GE
    Chapter XVIII Miss Ophelia's Experiences and Opinions UT
    Chapter XX Topsy UT
    Chapter XXIV Foreshadowings UT
    Chapter XXV The Little Evangelist UT
    Chapter XXVI Death UT
    Chapter XXVIII Reunion UT
    Chapter XXIX The Unprotected UT
    Chapter XXX The Slave Warehouse UT
    Chapter XXXII Dark Places UT
    Chapter XXXIII Cassy UT
    Chapter XXXVII Liberty GE
    Chapter XXXVIII The Victory UT
    Chapter XL The Martyr UT
    Chapter XLI The Young Master UT
    Chapter XLII An Authentic Ghost Story GE
    Chapter XLIII Results GE
    Chapter XLIV The Liberator UT
    Chapter XLV Concluding Remarks UT, GE

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