Simon Legree


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Simon Legree

Any boss or enforcer of work who is mercilessly strict and demanding. A reference to the a cruel and vicious slave owner in the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. He seemed like a nice guy when I first met him, but the new foreman turned out to be a real Simon Legree.
See also: Simon
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Simon Legree

(ˈsɑɪmən ləˈgri)
n. a very hard taskmaster; a hard boss. (From the name of the slave driver in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.) Ask Simon Legree if I will be able to stop work and go home for breakfast now.
See also: Simon
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Simon Legree in Uncle Tom's Cabin epitomizes the consuming slaveholder who will settle for nothing less than the slave's total objectification and dissolution--a complete erasure of his subjectivity.
Clare's moral ambivalence, signified by his procrastination of freeing Tom, leads Tom to the other extreme of the slave institution, the home of Simon Legree. Stowe aptly names this character.
Clare's, Tom is sold again, this time to Simon Legree, whose remote plantation is the site of every form of cruelty and degradation.
The Dumb Show plays a cross between melodrama and a Punch-and-Judy show, with a hand-puppet King, and Wilson sporting a black cape and Simon Legree sneer; Hamlet's decision to "put and antic disposition on" is rendered as a diary entry, interrupted by a lazzo with an imaginary buzzing fly, his writing utensils an improbably-large feather - chosen, it seems, for the very fact that it tickles his nose when he writes.
Would things have been different had we told Caterpillar to quit acting like the Simon Legree of the business world, or said the UAW should say thanks and sign the contract?
Clare makes plans to manumit his slaves but is killed before he can do so, and the brutal Simon Legree, Tom's new owner, has Tom whipped to death after he refuses to divulge the whereabouts of certain runaway slaves.
The villainous vizier is a snake-eyed shape-shifter, the off-spring of a road company Simon Legree and the evil queen of Sleeping Beauty.
Stowe's mission is to show how motherly feeling and Christlike love can convert men and even overcome the ultimate model of marketplace manhood, Simon Legree. Leverenz cautions, however, that even Stowe's monumental (and now canonized) novel itself betrays a paternalistic sense of authority: It is a "genteel white woman' s call to arms" in a "middle-class gender war" (193).
Sold farther down river to Simon Legree's plantation, Tom finds his faith is tested by the most degrading servitude.
Cruelly treated by a Yankee plantation owner, Simon Legree, Tom dies as the result of a beating.
Others may think of villains like Simon Legree or heroines like Girl in "The Girl of the Golden West." In other words, according to Stephen Sondheim, the author of "Sweeney Todd" and other plays, melodrama is often considered something to be spoofed, to be laughed at.
Thomas Hammons doesn't get much to sing, but he offered effective comic relief as Henry Kissinger (a latter-day Simon Legree in Madame Mao's agitprop production of Act II), while Marc Heller did what he could with the oddly secondary character of Mao, who drifts between historical re-imaginings and psychosocial fantasy.
The second idea that students begin to call into question after reading the narratives is the image of the sadistic planter Simon Legree (the character in Harriet Beacher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin), who enjoys beating his slaves.
The Simon Legree of liberal capitalism, he is a man made monstrous by his own all-consuming greed.
Adapting its vocabulary and characters, people began to describe others as a "Simon Legree" or an "Uncle Tom." In Germany, there quickly appeared an Onkel Tom Strasse.