Being exiled and perceived as “crazy” by the community has both advantages and disadvantages. Cora works first as a maid, then as an “actor” in a museum display teaching white people about slavery. Removing #book# 2. The incident with the hog farmers and the events that follow create a thunderstorm of emotion that completely overwhelms Cora. Although the narrator doesn’t say so explicitly, it is clear that Cora finds the celebrations sinister, a way of subduing the enslaved population and suppressing any chance of rebellion. The ambiguity of Cora’s exact reasoning speaks to a major theme in the history of slave rebellion: the question of whether horror at slavery or the desire for freedom exert a greater power over the mindset of individuals. Interspersed in the narrative are chapters that follow other characters in the same way the … This is confirmed when Lovey is dragged off while Cora and Caesar successfully manage to fight off the men who apprehend them. This passage illustrates multiple different myths that define life during the slavery era. Preview: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is a work of speculative fiction that follows a runaway slave, Cora, on a grisly tour through the American South. Even after she returns to the rest of the crowd. Although Cora feels ambivalent about having a life like Jockey’s, she still at first thinks Caesar is crazy to plan an escape. A young woman named Cora makes an amazing discovery during her attempt to break free from slavery in the deep south. The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead.New York: Doubleday, 2016. He doesn’t know where the track leads. She is simultaneously terrified of being captured again, devastated that Lovey was taken, resentful of Lovey for putting them in danger, shocked by the death of the boy, angry at the white men who are hunting her and Caesar, and astonished by her experience of the world beyond Randall. Clearly, Caesar believes that it is better to risk death than to live a long life as an enslaved man. Dated July 18, 1820, it states that a negro girl by the name of Lizzie ran away and may possibly be hiding near the plantation of someone named Mrs. Steel. This is because, lurking in the background of the lives of the enslaved population are the sinister designs of the Randall brothers and the other bosses. From the summary, it is clear that the book is more a combination of science fiction and fantasy rather than the facts of slavery that it is based on. Although most fugitives only stay at Valentine temporarily, Cora is reluctant to leave, just as she was reluctant to leave South Carolina. Instant downloads of all 1389 LitChart PDFs (including The Underground Railroad). Instant downloads of all 1391 LitChart PDFs There are several reasons why Cora does not like to dance. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Yet it is arguably incorrect to say that Cora’s garden is a hopeful space. Man is filled with bitterness toward all aspects of society, but Essay Topics. She leads them to the abandoned underground railroad station, where she escapes by throwing both herself and Ridgeway down the stairs leading to the track. Unable to find Caesar, Cora goes to Sam, who advises her to hide in the railroad station underneath his house. Life as an enslaved person is so brutal and survival is so difficult that there is often no choice but to look after one’s own interests at the expense of others. When Nag looks after Cora, Cora becomes a substitute for the children that have been taken from Nag, and Nag becomes a substitute for Mabel, who abandoned Cora on the plantation. Cora spends most of her time in the farm’s library, and one day John joins her there to discuss the future of the farm. Dancing is an important and beloved activity for the enslaved population, and thus Cora’s unwillingness to participate further marks her as an outlier exiled from the community. Ethel, who once dreamed of being a missionary in Africa, seizes the opportunity to read to Cora from the Bible. The residents are about to debate whether the community should move west or stay put and expel the runaways who live there. After all, there is little hope that Cora will ever escape the plantation and experience freedom and happiness for herself. Underground is an American television period drama series created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski about the Underground Railroad in Antebellum Georgia. Rather, the garden is more a symbol of survival, inheritance, and endurance. Furthermore, although Cora feels sure that Mabel did not say goodbye, Cora was only a child at the time and thus likely would not have understood even if Mabel had made some kind of gesture or signal. Due to the intensity of this brutality, enslaved people often have little choice but to turn away from one another, such as Chester does from Cora. While rebellion means sadistic punishment and often death, endurance can mean the same thing. Fletcher drives them in his cart, covered by a blanket, to the home of the station agent, Lumbly. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. When a young slave named Chester is beaten by plantation owner Terrance Randall, Cora intervenes and is beaten. Cora, meanwhile, is being courted by Royal, who shows her a nearby underground railroad station. Cora and Caesar reach the house of Mr. Fletcher, Caesar’s contact with the underground railroad. Shocked by the amount of labor the Railroad must have taken in its construction, Cora and Caesar learn that it is their fellow slaves who have built the Railroad. Perhaps more fundamentally, however, Cora refuses to participate in an activity that can, however briefly, convince enslaved people that they are free. This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Underground Railroad. Once again, life on Randall shows that social dynamics, connections, and preferences are a matter of life and death. Furthermore, with her grandmother dead and her mother gone, Cora has no one around to look out for her. While he is courting her, he takes her to an abandoned underground railroad station with a small track only big enough for a handcar. Cora is an exile within the enslaved population of Randall plantation, making her exiled in a double sense: as a black enslaved person in a white supremacist country, and as a stigmatized “Hob woman” in the only community she has ever known. Fletcher feeds them and then drives them to the underground railroad station in his cart, hiding them beneath a blanket. Rather, the punishment is intended to deter other enslaved people from even dreaming of running away. Teachers and parents! While Nag is Connelly’s “favorite,” she enjoys a privileged and protected position herself. Instead of a life of peace and freedom, slaves are forced to associate escape with the image of Big Anthony being burned alive in the stocks. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. The chapter begins with the narrator stating that. The Randall brothers walk out of the house and into the crowd. from your Reading List will also remove any They are nearly caught by a group of white hog hunters; Lovey is captured, and Cora kills a white boy in order to escape. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Beneath Lumbly’s house, they find a tunnel with a railroad track, and a locomotive carries them north. During the days of slavery the Underground Railroad was used by thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of slaves as they made their way north to freedom. Worse, Cora could have been tortured into a confession over Mabel’s whereabouts by the bosses at Randall. In one town where they stop, Cora makes eye contact with a young black man named Royal. When Connelly rejects her, though, she becomes an exile and must live with the other outcasts in Hob. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. At first glance it seems like many a historical novel, but the Pulitzer Prize-winning Whitehead turns a number of familiar literary tropes upside down in his genre-bending story. While the two are fighting and away from their weapons, Royal and two of his companions rescue Cora. Michael’s former master and other white people remain committed to the myth that black people are inherently unintelligent, even when presented with Michael’s skill at memorization. Cora shouldn’t have come, Martin says, because North Carolina is growing increasingly hostile toward runaway slaves and those who harbor them. ... Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Summary of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead | Includes Analysis . On April 25, 2016, WGN renewed the show for a 10-episode second season, that premiered on March 8, 2017. Ridgeway hands her a candle and tells her to go down first. When James grows suddenly ill and dies, Terrance takes over the control of the entire plantation. 3. The show debuted March 9, 2016, on WGN America. Cora feels sad and angry about Mabel’s departure, yet ends up following in her mother’s footsteps by taking the exact same items with her that Mabel did. Their influence may have been part of the reason Pennsylvania, where many Quakers lived, was the first state to b… The Underground Man, Get ready to write your essay on Notes from Underground. Furthermore, Mrs. Garner’s promise to liberate Caesar and his family upon her death further confirmed to Caesar that freedom was something that awaited him in the future. Cora hears a commotion above her and realizes a mob has set Sam’s house on fire. Cora does not enjoy the protection or friendship of other members of the enslaved community at Randall (save the women of Hob, who are themselves exceptionally vulnerable). Ridgeway, a slave catcher who has been chasing Cora and Caesar, discovers the dormitory where Cora lives. Three generations of her family have tended to it, and, as the story of Ajarry’s husbands and children shows, the seemingly simple event of something being passed down through three generations of enslaved people is a miracle given the fact that slaves were systematically denied the rights to own property, live with their families, and often even to live. Summary: A fictional narrative of a Georgia slave, Cora, who with another slave escapes the plantation, and through a series of harrowing experiences, and the existence of an actual underground railroad with trains and engineers, escapes to the North. Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad Chapter Summary. Although the brothers possess different attitudes about running their respective halves of the plantation, both choose their approach on financial grounds. When she wakes up, she walks, running her hand along the surface of the tunnel. He warned Old Randall that he had heard rumors that the Underground Railroad had a branch extending all the way into southern Georgia. This passage explores what it actually means to endure the brutality of slavery. Lumbly, the station agent, takes them underground to an actual railroad, where he loads them into a boxcar and sends them to South Carolina. Many of the towns they pass through have been ravaged by natural disasters. Mrs. Garner’s relatively mild behavior towards Caesar and his family encouraged Caesar to feel that freedom was more tangible than it has ever seemed to Cora. He reminds the crowd that their very existence is a miracle, a delusion. Lovey’s naïve choice of possessions and more straightforward relationship to her mother create the impression that she is more childlike than Cora and Caesar. By including a physical railroad in the book, Whitehead emphasizes the role of black people themselves in constructing their own passage to freedom. 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