chapter 2 - uncle tom's cabin
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Contrary to what one might expect from a novel protesting slavery, Eliza is very content at the Shelby plantation. She does not miss or question her lack of personal autonomy under the master-slave relationship, but rather is grateful for masters who have instilled in her Christian ways. This is an ironic commentary on how the tenets of Christianity and slavery can be compatible, for it seems that Christian doctrine is subverted to keep slaves in their place. This is evidenced by Eliza's protest to her husband, that she "must obey master and mistress" in order to be Christian. Overall, the opposite experiences of kindness and cruelty at the hands of masters that Eliza and George experience are Stowe's means of painting a fair portrait of the condition of slavery. Like Eliza, not all slaves were discontent, but all lacked basic human rights. As we will see, even Eliza was soon to learn the crueler aspects of bondange when she does not have the right to keep her own child.