It has been said that we become who we are as people by the things that happen to us and around us as we age. There are things that occur that we will always remember and, whether we realize it or not, affect the decisions we make from that moment on. It can happen at any point in time and can be seemingly meaningless or it can be extremely substantial, like touching something hot as a child or witnessing something horrific as an adult, these things change us. Many people find role models that they strive to be like, while it can be just as likely to come across someone who makes mistakes that we learn from. No matter how it happens, we are merely an outcome of experiences we have lived through in the past that will shape our future. In Uncle Tom's Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly, we are shown that people are made the way they are by the environment they exist in, the people they are surrounded by and the decisions they have made in the past, using Cassy as an example.
Cassy is the product of her upbringing. We learn of her history through the stories she tells to Tom while taking care of him after he has been beaten by Legree. She speaks of being born into wealth, her father being a free white man and her mother being one of his slaves. Cassy was able to be well educated because of her father, but when he died, she was termed property and sold to another man. She wasn't particularly sad about being sold though. She fell in love with the man almost on sight, having not yet seen evil in the world. She had children with the man, a son and a daughter. Everything seemed to be good in the world, until the cousin to the father of her children came to New Orleans. She describes how it ended by saying, "At this, the wretch offered to buy me and the children of Henry, to clear off his gambling debts, which stood in the way of his marrying as he wished: - and he sold us. He told me, one day, that he had business in the country, and should be gone two or three weeks.