What are the primary periods in Cora’s life in the Underground Railroad?
- The Underground Railroad covers five primary periods in the life of Cora: 1. Life in Georgia When Cora’s mother, Mabel, runs away, Cora becomes a young outcast among the slaves of the Randall plantation.
Does Cora get free in Underground Railroad?
Cora runs away from the Randall plantation on The Underground Railroad series premiere, but she doesn’t remain free. Cora goes on a dangerous, harrowing, and sometimes heartbreaking journey on The Underground Railroad.
What happens to Cora in the Underground Railroad book?
Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia and an outcast after her mother Mabel ran off without her. She resents Mabel for escaping, although it is later revealed that her mother tried to return to Cora but died from a snake bite and never reached her.
How does Cora resist dehumanization?
Classroom Activity List all the ways that Cora resists the dehumanization of enslavement. Consider her ownership of the plot of land, her friendships with the Hob women, her insistence on confronting danger, her pursuit of literacy, and other examples.
Who freed the Underground Railroad?
However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad began in the late 18th century. It ran north and grew steadily until the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
How did Cora get away from Ridgeway?
Ridgeway took Cora’s escape from the Randall plantation personally. Her mother, Mabel, had been the only slave to get away, and he wanted to make sure that didn’t happen with Cora. It turned out that Mabel met a sad fate in her unintended (without Cora, anyway) escape.
Who was Cora Randall?
Cora Einterz Randall is an atmospheric scientist known for her research on particles in the atmosphere, particularly in polar regions.
What did Royal do to Cora?
Of course Cora carries them with her. This exchange occurs at the tail end of a date in which Royal has taken Cora horseback riding and taught her how to shoot a gun.
What happens Ridgeway?
Ridgway is more honest about the reality of America than many other white characters in the novel, refusing to uphold myths about the country and its history. He is obsessed by his failure to capture Mabel and Cora, and he ends up being killed by Cora in Indiana in a final physical battle that resembles a dance.
How did Cora escape?
Ridgeway captures Cora, who leads him to the abandoned railroad station. She escapes along the tracks and emerges days later, accepting a ride from a wagon driver headed west.
Is the book The Underground Railroad based on fact?
Adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-award-winning novel, The Underground Railroad is based on harrowing true events. The ten-parter tells the story of escaped slave, Cora, who grew up on The Randall plantation in Georgia.
What is the message of the Underground Railroad?
-Harriet Tubman, 1896. The Underground Railroad—the resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, through the end of the Civil War—refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom by escaping bondage. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape.
How many slaves did Harriet Tubman help free via the Underground Railroad?
Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad’s “conductors.” During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she “never lost a single passenger.”
How many slaves were freed because of the Underground Railroad?
According to some estimates, between 1810 and 1850, the Underground Railroad helped to guide one hundred thousand enslaved people to freedom.
Does the Underground Railroad still exist?
It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.
On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Coles’s On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis
On Amazon’sThe Underground Railroad, Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu) laments, “The first and last thing my mother ever offered me was apologies.” “The first and last thing my mother ever gave me was apologies,” she says in her first words as a fugitive. She is standing in front of a pond, whose water is dark and boiling, and which is framed by tree branches that are barren and sinewy in their shape, Despite the fact that she’s staring dead through the screen, her eyes are filled to overflowing with rage and fatigue, as well as, most importantly, pain.
In a wordless flashback only minutes before, the grandmother had appeared and is essentially gone (but never forgotten) until another prolonged reminiscence in the last episode of the Barry Jenkins–directed miniseries.
After her daughter was born, Mabel escaped the Randall estate with little consideration for her own safety as she was stranded in the depths of Georgia, according to the narrative.
Cora was not the only one she had to flee from, and she would have returned if she had been able to.
- She was apprehended and was never seen or heard from again after that incident.
- Among the few secrets revealed in the program, which follows Cora as she seeks to leave slavery via a network of subterranean trains that operate throughout a fictional but timeless American South, is the fate of Cora’s daughter.
- The Underground Railroadis a slave epic that is solely based on the thoughts, feelings, and wants of its protagonists, rather than their physical surroundings.
- The series and its original book, written by Colson Whitehead, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, are links in a chain that dates back to the founding of the unique institution that is the University of Chicago.
- Despite the fact that the genre changes from autobiography to fiction to cinema to television, the setting remains vaguely recognizable.
- In the modern genre, the thorny issues that are rarely answered not just because they are difficult to answer but also because they require a specific skill set to carry off include: What was life like for enslaved people?
- To be sure, there was a lot of pain involved, but there was also plenty of excitement, wonder, and sweetness involved as well.
In ten separate episodes, all of which were uploaded on Amazon Prime on Friday, Cora’s journey to sneak herself out of the clutches of antebellum bondage is chronicled.
The program, like the novel, is influenced by both the fantastical and the literal aspects of reality.
White scientism is being utilized to implement, conceal, and justify a program of sterilization and biological tests akin to those conducted at Tuskegee Institute.
Tennessee’s virgin Native land has been damaged, scorched, and consumed by fire in the wake of the recent appropriation of the property.
With reverence, he refers to it as the determination “to conquer and construct and civilize” as defined by the author.
Lift up first, then subjugate; and if you can’t subjugate first, then exterminate.
On the first episode, a fugitive is burnt alive in front of an audience of planter barons and debutantes, in one of the show’s most graphic sequences.
A fugitive who starves himself to death rather than be taken to slavery is introduced to Cora in the fifth episode of Season 5.
Even as the series progresses, there are many scenes of disgust and melancholy over abandonment, anguish, and resignation over the unabating nature of American racism, and yet there are also scenes of euphoria in a lovers’ embrace while dancing, renewal in sowing and harvesting the earth, and other such scenes.
- Thus, the story is told via the perspectives of parents and children, brothers and sisters, lovers and friends, among other characters.
- These characters’ thoughts are revealed directly through the close-up, which has long been Jenkins’s preferred method of portrayal.
- Throughout the tale, they serve as soothing distractions for the onlooker’s wearied eyes.
- In the hands of a different guide, a series of this length may be overbearing and gluttonous.
- When I was reading The Underground Railroad, I was drawn to a message in Toni Morrison’s essay “The Site of Memory,” which she wrote about the Underground Railroad.
- Similarly to all tributaries, the Mississippi meanders and shifts slowly in different directions throughout time.
- This area is occasionally flooded by the river, according to the author Morrison.
The memory of all water is impeccable, and it is constantly retracing its steps in order to return to its original location.
What the nerves and the skin recall, as well as how it seemed, are all part of the emotional memory.
A history, on the other hand, is outside the realm of any type of art, and it would be a waste of time.
The fact that it is that bad should not exclude it from being discussed in public.
In any case, this is America, and this is pop culture, and these things always wind up meaning more than they should because, given the baggage—four centuries of history, divided in the middle by a civil war—impossible it’s for them not to.
When death and violence are documented on mobile phones, there will be a desire to avoid telling a story like this.
For those who lived as slaves, life was extremely difficult.
To fill in the blanks and reanimate a people and a life that have been stolen, it is the artist’s responsibility to depict the entire person—their inconsistencies, their highs and lows, and the very core of who they are.
The series’ first episode concludes with Cora exploring a gaping chasm beneath the ground, which happens to be the site of the first railroad station on Cora’s quest.
She is photographing a freedom train as it approaches, and her friend Caesar is trying to fill out their bios in a passenger logbook as she is taking pictures of the train itself.
Caesar doesn’t grasp what is going on here. “How else will we account for the souls dedicated to this campaign?” the station agent asks offscreen, as if drawing the beauty of the series itself in his head.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Teacher’s Guide: 9780345804327
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR TEACHERS Instructions for Teachers The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes. Cora, a young African American lady who goes to freedom from the antebellum South via a magnificently conceived physical—rather than metaphorical—railroad, is introduced in The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. The locations and people Cora experiences throughout the novel, which is told in episodes, furnish her and the reader with important discoveries about the consequences of captivity.
The reader is reminded of the importance of hope, of resistance, and of freedom via Cora, making The Underground Railroadan essential supplement to any classroom curriculum.
An understanding of the slave trade, slavery, and how it operated in the United States is necessary in order to make sense of the number of Africans who were enslaved and the historical legacy of enslavement that has lasted through Reconstruction, the civil rights movement, and up to the present day in the United States.
- Most importantly, including The Underground Railroadallows readers to bear witness to a counter-narrative of slavery that is not generally covered in the literature on slavery.
- Because of the Underground Railroad, we are reminded that her tale may be used as a springboard for bigger talks about racism, gender, and a slew of other critical issues.
- When used at the collegiate level, the book is suited for writing and literary classes, race and gender studies, and first-year/common reading programs, among other things.
- The prompts are organized according to the standard that they most directly support.
- For a comprehensive listing of the Standards, please see the following link: warnings: There are multiple instances of violence throughout the text (sexual and physical).
- Although teachers should not avoid exposing children to these events, guiding them through them via conversation and critical analysis will help them gain a better understanding of the consequences of enslavement as it has been experienced by so many people throughout history.
- Activity in the Classroom Make a list of all the ways in which Cora fights against the dehumanization that comes with servitude.
Then hold a Socratic seminar to determine in what ways she is a “insurrection of one” (172) and why her resistance is such a threat to the system of white supremacy.Key Ideas and Specifics : CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.3 Examine the consequences of the author’s decisions about how to develop and connect the many aspects of a tale or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
- Even while whites continue to orchestrate festivals among the slave population in South Carolina, free people are free to congregate and spend time with one another whenever they choose.
- And what do these get-togethers have to say about community, kinship, and happiness?
- What aspects of South Carolina’s enslavement are similar to those of slavery?
- What characteristics distinguish South Carolina from Randall?
- Her reading materials include a Bible and almanacs, which “Cora admired.
- What role does the act of reading, and hence literacy, play in Cora’s ability to be free?
Consider, as well, how Ethel and Ridgeway use the Bible and religion to justify slavery: “If God had not intended for Africans to be enslaved, they would not be in chains” (195); and Cora’s observation: “Slavery is a sin when whites are subjected to the yoke, but not when Africans are subjected to the yoke” (195).
- This is how Ridgeway describes his position: “I’m an idea of order.” Likewise, the slave who vanishes is only a fictitious concept.
- If we allow it to happen, we are acknowledging the fault in the imperative.
- Is there a “defect in the imperative,” and why is it critical for Ridgeway and the larger institution of enslavement that is reliant on Black people that this flaw be addressed and eliminated?
- Mingo and Lander are similar in many ways.
- What are the similarities and differences between these two guys and Booker T.
- Du Bois?
Examine the relevance of how each person who worked on the railroad—from station agents to conductors—was influenced by their jobs and the railroad itself.
Which concepts such as resistance, agency, and responsibility do these individuals hold dear to their hearts?
The ability to read and to be literate provided one with a tremendous instrument for comprehending the world and for liberating others from oppression.
Consider the significance of the Valentine library, which boasts “the largest collection of negroliterature this side of Chicago,” among other things (273).
What role does Cora’s experience play in articulating the relationship between freedom and literacy?
Cora’s grandmother, Ajarry, is our first introduction to her.
What role does Ajarry play in setting a good example for Mabel, and in especially for Cora, is unclear.
A comparison has been made between the episodic structure of The Underground Railroad and that of Jonathan Swift’sGulliver’s Travels by Colson Whitehead.
A station agent tells Cora, “If you want to see what this country is all about, I always say you have to ride the rails,” as he tells her he wants her to ride the trains.
What role does Lumbly’s appraisal play in framing Cora’s next phase of her trip once she leaves Georgia?
Cora travels the majority of the way by herself.
Years ago, she had taken a wrong turn and was no longer able to find her way back to the folks she had left behind” (145).
Also, how do her travels influence her perspective on the ever-present threat of sexual assault against Black women, as well as the general lack of protection for enslaved women?
Examine the Friday Festivals and the night riders to see how they compare.
What are the ways in which these occurrences express worries of black rebellion?
Instead, he and his family were sold and split apart by the government.
Gulliver’s Travels is the title of the book.
The notion of literacy for freedom is sustained by Caesar’s hunger for knowledge in what way is unclear.
Who was the one who started it?
The question is, how could this be both a “community striving for something precious and unique” and a threat to others (such as the residents in the nearby town, slave hunters, and so on)?
Is there a clear message about risk and return in this?
Why is Sam the only one that returns to Cora out of all of the agents she has encountered?
Look at page 285 and see how Lander responds to Mingo.
What is the role of illusion throughout the narrative, and why is this particular moment so important for the acts that follow?
“You have a responsibility to pass on something beneficial to your children” (293).
What is their legacy in Cora, and how has it been realized?
Examine the relevance of turning the Underground Train into a real-world railroad system.
Create stations for students to study and debate each advertising based on a framing text (for example, “New Databases Offer Insight into the Lives of Escaped Slaves” from the New York Times).
What are some of the parallels and contrasts between the actual announcements and Cora’s version of them?
Knowledge and ideas are integrated in this process.
“That tale, like so many that we tell about our nation’s past, has a complicated relationship to the truth: not exactly false, but simplified; not quite a myth, but mythologized,” argues Kathryn Schultz in her essay “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” in the New Yorker.
For what reason is it necessary to emphasize African Americans’ participation in the abolitionist movement?
According to the Slave Memorial Act of 2003, “the District of Columbia shall be the site of a memorial to slavery to: (1) acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery throughout the United States and its thirteen American colonies; and (2) honor the nameless and forgotten men, women, and children who have gone unrecognized for their undeniable and weighty contribution to the development of the United States.
” There are no national monuments dedicated to the enslavement of Africans in the United States at this time.
What is the most appropriate method to commemorate and remember the enslavement of African people?
Draw on examples from the book to support your reasoning as you create an artistic depiction that places Cora inside that lineage, stretching the history all the way to the current day.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.7 Research projects that are both short and long in duration are carried out to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; when necessary, inquiries are narrowed or broadened; and multiple sources on the subject are synthesized to demonstrate understanding of the subject under investigation.
One of the episodes should be chosen as a starting point for doing critical analysis and presenting findings from research on one of the issues listed below, along with an explanation of how that topic relates to the novel’s themes.
forced sterilization, settler colonialism, lynching, African Americans and abolitionism, African American slave rebellions, sexual violence against African American women, reparations, literacy practices during and after enslavement, the role of white women in slavery, maroons and maronage, racial health disparities, and reparations.
- (Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations,” The Atlantic, November 2005.
- Social Theory, Sociology, “Settler Colonialism: An Introduction from the Perspective of Global Social Theory.” (E.
- The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City.
- NPR’s “Fresh Air” program.
- Kathryn, “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” is a book about the Underground Railroad.
- Works of Spectacular Interest Podcast with a historically black cast.
- Ashley Bryan is a writer of children’s books.
Ava DuVernay’s Thirteenth (film) Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Alex Haley (film), Joel C.
Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a classic.
Promoting High Achievement Among African American Students, Young, Gifted, and Black (Young, Gifted, and Black), Theresa Perry is a woman who works in the fashion industry.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is located in Washington, DC.
Gregory Christie is a writer and poet from the United Kingdom.
Heather’s book, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery, is a must-read for anybody interested in African American history.
Author of Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom, Heather A.
Monroe Work is the webpage for the Lynching Project.
Previously, she served as president of the New England Association of Teachers of English and as the National Council of Teachers of English’s Secondary Representative at-Large for the secondary division.
A Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Champaign, Dr. Parker is an expert in the field of education. WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUThtml /
The Underground Railroad Chapter 6: North Carolina Summary and Analysis
After being locked under the platform beneathSam’s house for the previous five chapters, the sixth chapter begins with Cora still trapped there. It’s been one day since the house was set on fire by a group of people. Cora has been alone with her nightmares for a long period of time, with no food or drink. She imagines Caesar’s capture over and over again, imagining how things would have turned out differently if she had been there to see it. She recognizes at that point that she has become a stray.
- The train, however, passes by just as Cora comes to terms with this knowledge.
- The engineer in charge of the train is a youngster who is taken aback by Cora’s arrival; the Georgia station is closed and the train to North Carolina wasn’t supposed to be carrying passengers.
- Cora disembarks at a station that has been excavated deep into the mountain’s interior.
- She investigates the station and the adjacent tunnel, but she soon realizes she is trapped and falls asleep in dread of being trapped any longer.
- He looks to be anxious by the sight of Cora; the night patrollers are on the prowl for fugitives at the time of this photograph.
- Cora is told to get out of the cart and have a look around by Martin, who then stops the cart.
- Their bodies bore the scars of torture and savage beatings.
- When they arrive, Martin’s wife, Ethel, is waiting for them and is agitated by Cora’s behavior.
- She warns her that if she does not keep silent, she and her family would be handed in by either the maid, Ethel and Martin’s daughter, or her relatives.
- Cora sits in a hole in the wall across the street from the park, keeping an eye on things.
- She observes for a whole day before realizing that everyone in the park who can be seen is dressed in white.
Cora continues to keep an eye on the park as the town’s residents prepare for their “Friday Festival.” Starting with a band, the celebrations move on to include a brief blackface comic act and a short drama about a slave who attempts unsuccessfully to return to his owner only to be turned away because “North Carolina has changed.” Each performance is met with enthusiastic applause from the audience.
- Finally, a commanding individual takes the stage and announces himself as Jamison, the host.
- Lousiana is left cowering on the platform, her face wounded and dirty, as Jamison delivers his speech.
- According to him, this is their responsibility, and the audience rushes to assist him in tying a noose around Louisa’s neck.
- Cora is fascinated by the history of North Carolina, which Martin recounts to her.
- When the prominent men in North Carolina thought that it would be preferable to direct the hordes of impoverished immigrant Europeans, primarily Irish and Germans, to the southern states rather than the northern ones, they were met with fierce opposition.
- North Carolina then went on to exterminate black people, selling slaves to the southern states and slaughtering free blacks.
- Every municipality in the area held a weekly Friday Festival where runaways may be shown on exhibit.
Cora takes up residence in her attic nook, where she sits and watches the park while reading and attempting to stay cool in the sweltering heat.
Cora is warned by Martin not to run away because doing so will result in their deaths as a group.
She spends her time in contemplation, pondering about the influx of Irish immigrants who had taken over the labor of black slaves in North Carolina and replaced it with their own.
Cotton has to be selected in order to be used.
Caesar would come around and visit the youngsters, telling them tales and playing games with them.
Cora has the realization that she is the sort of black person that North Carolina is afraid of: a killer.
The brutality that white people committed on black people will one day come back to haunt them.
Cora makes a big noise when she knocks over her chamber pot while Fiona is in the home, which causes Cora to lose her temper.
Their cause is unlikely to attract many supporters: Martin inherited his father’s abolitionist zeal from his grandfather.
The second terrible omen occurs when the night riders explore the home and come dangerously near to destroying it.
Cora is hoping that this implies that the house will not be searched again for some time.
Cora becomes unwell the night after the patrollers pay a visit to Martin and Ethel’s home.
Cora has been delirious with a fever for several days.
While reading from the Bible, Ethel carries her down to the spare bedroom and nurses her back to health.
Cora then proceeds to peruse the almanacs.
The night riders, however, come knocking again on her door on her final night in the downstairs bedroom of the house.
Fiona sprints up to get her prize: she was the one who turned them in to the authorities.
The audience is watching.
Ridgeway intervenes in the town’s legal system, and Jamison complains, but the slave catcher is victorious. He and his gang chain Cora to the back of her wagon and drive off. Martin and Ethel are tied to a hanging tree, and that is the last thing she sees before leaving town.
Cora is depicted as a lonely person in this sixth chapter, in contrast to the hazards of being a part of a group of people. Cora settled into a town in South Carolina with ease, only to find herself deceived by it later on. Now that those illusions have been shattered, Cora must confront the reality of being alone once more. A stray is what Cora is reclaiming on the platform underneath Sam’s burning house, where she is alone and reclaims the title she was given on the Randall plantation years ago: stray.
- In addition, Cora begins to watch the town where she is hiding, which further develops the subject of the individual vs the collective.
- Although the town appears to be pleasant and lively at first, with the park being active throughout the day, Cora quickly learns that something is wrong: she is the only one who sees white people.
- Cora comes to the realization that the town, which had previously appeared pleasant and cohesive, is actually linked solely by a shared dread of African-Americans.
- In the end, the community comes to a grinding halt.
- In reality, the town is not held together by terror; rather, they utilize the very system that they have constructed to push people away.
- In reality, white dread has impacted the path of American history: a series of slave revolts during the period of slavery resulted in an increase in attempts to impose order and subjection by force.
- Furthermore, nothing on the scale of North Carolina’s attempted genocide has ever occurred before in the history of the United States.
- As the conductor, Lumbly, tells Cora in the second chapter, black slaves were instrumental in the founding of the United States.
- It is this sorrow that is mirrored in the mythical endeavor to actually wipe blackness from North Carolina.
- Indeed, in contrast to the imaginary South Carolina culture, where racist oppression is concealed under a façade of paternalistic beneficence, this violence is visible and unafraid to be exposed.
Through the inclusion of several dramatized instances of American racism, Whitehead implies that these realities are within the range of possibility, which is a scathing indictment of the country.
In Colson Whitehead’s Latest, the Underground Railroad Is More Than a Metaphor (Published 2016)
INTERNATIONAL UNDERGROUND TRAVEL RAILROAD Colson Whitehead contributed to this article. Doubleday Publishing Group, 306 pages, $26.95. Colson Whitehead’s novels are abrasive and disobedient creatures: Each one of them goes to considerable efforts to break free from the previous one, from its structure and language, as well as from its particular areas of interest and expertise. All of them, at the same time, have a similar desire to operate inside a recognizably popular cultural framework while also breaking established norms for the novel’s own ends.
- His new work, “The Underground Railroad,” is as far far from the zombie story as it is possible to get.
- Like its predecessors, it is meticulously constructed and breathtakingly bold; it is also dense, substantial, and significant in ways that are both expected and surprising.
- In Whitehead’s novel, the underground railroad is not the hidden network of passages and safe homes used by fugitive slaves to get from their slaveholding states to the free North, as is often believed.
- According to Whitehead, “two steel tracks ran the whole length of the tunnel, fastened into the ground by wooden crossties.” Whitehead also describes the tunnel’s interior.
- Meet Cora, a teenage slave who works on a cotton farm in Georgia.
- When she is contacted by another slave about the Underground Railroad, she is hesitant; nonetheless, life, in the form of rape and humiliation, provides her with the shove she requires to go forward.
“The Underground Railroad” is brave, yet it is never gratuitous in its portrayal of this.) After killing a white man in order to get her freedom, she finds herself hunted by a famed slave catcher named Ridgeway, who appears to be right out of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, and whose helper wears a necklace made of human ears to track her down.
- Every episode corresponds to a new stop on Cora’s trip, which takes her through the two Carolinas, then Tennessee, and finally Indiana.
- Sunny Shokrae for The New York Times provided the image.
- And as readers, we begin to identify little deviations from historical truth, points at which “The Underground Railroad” transforms into something far more intriguing than a historical book.
- Whitehead’s imagination, free of the constraints of intransigent facts, propels the novel to new locations in the history of slavery, or rather, to areas where it has something fresh to say about the institution.
- An evocative moment from Whitehead’s novel takes place in the Museum of Natural Wonders in Charleston, South Carolina, and serves as an illustration of the way Whitehead’s imagination works its magic on the characters.
- The museum has a part devoted to living history, which you may visit.
- “Scenes From Darkest Africa” is the name of one chamber, while “Life on the Slave Ship” is the name of another.
- The curator, adds Whitehead, “did acknowledge that spinning wheels were not commonly used outside,” but contends that “although authenticity was their watchword, the size of the chamber dictated certain concessions.” Whitehead’s article is available online.
- Nobody, on the other hand, wants to speak about the actual nature of the world.
- Certainly not the white monsters that were on the opposite side of the exhibit at the time, pressing their greasy snouts against the glass and snorting and hooting.
- “The Underground Railroad” is also a film on the several ways in which black history has been hijacked by white narrators far too frequently in the past.
When Cora recalls the chapters in the Bible that deal with slavery, she is quick to point the finger at those who wrote them down: “People always got things wrong,” she believes, “on design as much as by mistake.” Whitehead’s work is continually preoccupied with issues of narrative validity and authority, as well as with the various versions of the past that we carry about with us, throughout the novel.
In the course of my reading, I was often reminded of a specific passage from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” to which Whitehead seemed to have drawn a great deal of inspiration for his treatment of time.
One guy, though, is aware of what he seen — thousands of dead people moving toward the sea on a train — and wanders around looking for someone who could recall the events of the narrative.
‘The Underground Railroad’ is, in a sense, Whitehead’s own attempt to put things right, not by telling us what we already know, but by defending the ability of fiction to understand the reality around us.
It is a courageous and essential work in its investigation of the founding sins of the United States of America.
The Underground Railroad Recap: Square in the Teeth
Image courtesy of Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios Burning Slowly Cora is being pursued by the flames as she flees North Carolina. We are watching a parade on an ash-covered field, with fire and smoke covering the ground: Cora is shown traveling beside Ridgeway’s wagon, her wrists and ankles bound and chained; the horses are being guided by Homer and Boseman; and the fugitive Jasper (Calvin Leon Smith) is seen in the back. Ridgeway rides around the gathering on his own horse, keeping an eye out for anyone who could be attempting to flee.
- Throughout the course of this episode, we learn a little bit more about each of the characters as they speak, journeying alongside them as they crawl their way through a scorching Tennessee landscape.
- Ridgeway intends to return Cora to Georgia, but as Cora realizes by the position of the sun, they’re traveling west rather than south as he had planned.
- So what is the reason for this shift in direction?
- It was a complete surprise when Ridgeway turned up in North Carolina and discovered Cora.
- “The truth is, you took me completely by surprise.” Ridgeway had overheard someone mention a “station” after an abolitionist was caught in Southern Virginia, so he decided to conduct some investigation into the matter.
- Ridgeway is consumed with narrativizing his experience, and he and Cora are seen as fated adversaries to one another.
- The cause of the fires is still up in the air, according to everyone.
They’re on Cherokee country — in fact, they’re on “The Trail of Tears — and death,” to use Boseman’s phrase — and they’re in danger.
Ridgeway, who is a genius at explaining away his mistakes, responds, “No.
“It was only a spark.” Following a fleeing guy on horseback, Ridgeway eventually catches up with him.
Boseman’s Dissatisfaction We know he’s a jerk from his very first piece of conversation – he says something to Cora that will never be forgotten by anyone.
One night, while drinking around the campfire, he pushes Ridgeway even more, upset by their inability to go forward with their ideas.
“And for what, wounded soul?” you could ask.
“It was him who freed the prisoners today.
The angry Boseman threatens Ridgeway with the prospect of just having Homer to beat on and talk to if he quits.
“The Great Spirit didn’t believe in you!” says the Great Spirit.
Ridgeway kills him by shooting him twice in the head.
And, perhaps more importantly, Cora finally asks the question I’ve been dying to know the answer to: “How long has he been with you?” “I purchased him,” Ridgeway says.
I bought him for five bucks.
I’m not sure why.
That was not a thought that appealed to me.
The following day, I began drafting emancipation documents.
Cora calls into question the notion that Homer is free or has agency in this situation.
After seeing Homer’s sleeping pattern, Cora inquires, “Do you force him to lock himself in his room at night?” He claims it’s the only way he can get himself to sleep, and Ridgeway agrees.
Cora’s Spirit is a collection of poems written by Cora.
We get to see a little piece of her personality, and even her sense of humour, come through.
“However, it appears that you are eager to inform me.” I couldn’t help but laugh a bit.
I let out a gasp!
For his part, Ridgeway describes in detail Lovey’s execution for Cora, including how Terrance Randall “hooked through the ribs with a spike” when she was hung on the gallows, where she was still alive for two days.
Cora’s talk with Jasper that night is the most memorable sequence from this episode in my opinion.
She addresses her mother, Mabel, first, saying, “Mama, are you there?
You’re having a great time up in the north.
“I make a pledge to you.” “Hey Lovey, what are you up to these days?” says the second.
I’m aware that you’re still living someplace.
Imissyou.” Third to Caesar: “Caesar (she says), if I could just go back in time.” Things would be done differently if I were in your shoes.
I’m going to meet you again one day, and I’m going to make things right.” Lastly, to Grace: “Grace, you’re a powerful woman.
You’re not tied to any kind of cart.
Cora’s elegies, on the other hand, compel him to speak to her: “Praise the Lord, you’ve run out of things to say.” But despite Jasper’s grumpiness, they chat about Florida and why he refuses to eat: “What’s the point?” “I ain’t giving up,” he declares in response to Cora’s assertion that he has given up.
- “Nobody is allowed to touch me.” Last Exhalations Ridgeway and Homer get sidetracked while out hunting for raccoons in the last section of the episode.
- She comes upon a lake – this is the same location where we last saw her in the first episode’s prologue, with the same music playing and her dressed in the same attire as before.
- She walks more slowly and more slowly as the water grows deeper and deeper, and the camera pans up to an aerial picture as her head slips beneath the surface of the water.
- When we get back to the lake, Ridgeway is “rescuing” Cora by dragging her out of the water with him.
- She sneezes and coughs.
- “Is this what you’re looking for?
- “It ain’t that simple,” says the author.
Ridgeway buryes Jasper’s grey body in the soil before they leave the location.
Ridgeway, the Drama King, truly shot the man in the back of the head for his bag of food!
he is a sucker for a good metaphor.
When you combine Boseman’s closing statements with Cora’s and Jasper’s, he’s taken down a lot of stairs.
If there is such a thing as justice, what am I ever supposed to do?” Thuso Mbedu’s performance in this episode is nothing short of outstanding.
Calvin Leon Smith’s performance makes his brief appearance all the more memorable.
“I used to be a picker,” Jasper explains.
The Bible text that Jasper appears to be quoting is Psalms 137:9, which reads, “Happy.
If I weren’t writing recaps, this would be the moment at which I would take a break from the program for a bit, not because I don’t want to see it through to its end, but simply because it has been such a huge loss for me after five hours.
In this episode, we gain some intriguing insight into the characters’ thoughts on death and survival.
Cora disagrees with Jasper’s assessment that her attempts to flee have been in vain, and she is determined to succeed.
As suggestions for this part and the themes explored throughout the colonial Tennessee that we witness burning, I offer two poetry books: (1)Build Yourself a Boatby Camongne Felix, who conducted a conversation with Barry Jenkins about the program; and (2)Whereasby Layli Long Soldier The Underground Railroad is a term used to describe a system of transportation that allows people to flee their homes.
a recap of what happened: square in the teeth