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I suppose it depends on the reader but Uncle Tom might illicit sympathy even from the hardest of readers. He maintains a sense of inner goodness despite being mistreated in the worst sense. An old slave and the protagonist of the novel, Tom's two most prevalent qualities are his inherent goodness and piety. He is a passive Christ-figure who consistently forgives the wrongs committed against him and turns to God in times of crisis. From learing to read the Bible and write letters to his kin, Tom is consistently trying to improve himself despite the limits placed upon him by slavery. Tom also serves as a Christian leader for the other slaves in the novel.