In The Underground Railroad What Happens To Ridgeway? (Question)

Ridgeway met Death on The Underground Railroad As she escaped his clutches again, he caught up with her. He forced her to take him to the station, which she did. And that was where he would eventually meet his end. She ends up killing Ridgeway with a gun before running away and getting to freedom.

What happened to Ridgeway in the Underground Railroad?

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.

Who was Ridgeway in Underground Railroad?

Arnold Ridgeway, the slave catcher who dedicates himself to finding Cora, has been a slave catcher since age 14. The son of a blacksmith, Ridgeway wanted a career in which he could excel without being trapped in his father’s shadow.

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.

Why does Homer help Ridgeway?

As a Back child, Homer had few prospects, even as a freedman. He would have had to prove that all the time, and there was always going to be a fight to get food and find shelter. It made more sense for this 10-year-old boy to remain with someone who could feed and clothe him. Ridgeway offered that.

How old is Ridgeway in the Underground Railroad?

Ridgeway was only 14 when he joined the patrollers who rounded up runaway slaves, seeking to suppress any chance of a rebellion like those taking place in the West Indies and elsewhere in the South.

Who is the little boy with Ridgeway?

Homer is a young black boy who is part of Ridgeway’s gang. Ridgeway purchased him for $5 before buying his freedom, but Homer still chooses to stay with Ridgeway and even voluntarily chains himself to Ridgeway’s wagon at night.

On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Coles’s On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

The character of Arnold Ridgeway, the slave catcher who is dedicated to locating Cora, has been a slave catcher from the age of 14 and has been a slave catcher since the age of 14. Ridgeway, the son of a blacksmith, desired to pursue a vocation in which he could flourish without being hampered by his father’s reputation as a mentor. When Ridgeway, who stood six and a half feet tall and weighed six hundred and fifty pounds, entered the slave-catching business, he found himself in an ideal atmosphere for success.

He spent the most of his time in New York City on strategies for identifying and apprehending former slaves while avoiding detection by abolitionists.

Ridgeway was recruited to locate Cora’s mother, Mabel, when she went missing.

He has now been tasked with the task of locating Cora.

  • He is determined to track it down and eliminate it.
  • Initially, his desire to become a slave catcher has nothing to do with his feelings toward slaves; rather, he seeks a profession in which he can make use of his tall, bulky stature, be respected, and establish a name for himself apart from his father’s blacksmithing business.
  • Catching slaves turns out to be the most practical method of accomplishing this aim.
  • However, just labeling Ridgeway as “evil” or “immoral” would be an overly simplistic response to a complicated topic.
  • Slave-catching and blacksmithing both contribute to and sustain this new economic system, which is necessary given that slave labor is the driving force behind Southern success.
  • If the system is ethically neutral, what makes Ridgeway’s business acumen and preoccupation with acquiring money any more wicked than his father’s is beyond comprehension.
  • On the one hand, he illustrates that being a part of a corrupt system makes everyone a party to the corruption.
  • By equating his slave-catching profession with blacksmithing, he is compelled to claim that the slaves he catches are akin to the bits of metal that his father forms in his blacksmithing shop.

As the rest of the story demonstrates, Ridgeway constantly portrays slaves as things rather than as individuals; he even refers to them by the impersonal word “it” rather than the personal pronouns “he” or “she.”


Ridgeway is the son of a blacksmith, Ridgeway Sr., who goes on to become an infamous slave collector in his latter years. The man is well-known for his frightening reputation as a slave-catcher, but he is also well-known for his peculiar nature. He is a firm believer in the concept of “manifest destiny,” which holds that white people have a right (and even a responsibility) to conquer America and enslave black people in order to build the country. He is also a vocal opponent of affirmative action.

Because he is obsessed with his failure to capture Mabel and Cora, he is slain by Cora in Indiana after a last physical struggle that mimics a game of advance.

Arnold Ridgeway Quotes inThe Underground Railroad

Ridgeway is the son of a blacksmith, Ridgeway Sr., who goes on to become an infamous slave catcher in his adult life. The man is well-known for his frightening reputation as a slave-catcher, but he is also well-known for his bizarre personality. The ideology of “manifest destiny,” which holds that white people have a right (and even a responsibility) to conquer America and enslave black people in order to build the country, is something he believes passionately in. When it comes to the truth of America, Ridgway is more honest about it than many other white characters in the novel, refusing to believe in or perpetuate misconceptions about the country and its past.

Arnold Ridgeway Character Timeline inThe Underground Railroad

The following timeline indicates where the character Arnold Ridgeway occurs in the novel The Underground Railroad. The colorful dots and symbols next to each appearance show which themes are related with that particular occurrence. Ridgeway, a “infamous slave collector,” paid Randall a visit following Mabel’s abduction, accompanied by an accomplice who wore an unnaturally shriveled necklace of acorns. (full context)Ridgeway’s father was a blacksmith who had a “half-breed” acquaintance named Tom Bird who was also a friend of Ridgeway’s father.

  • Richard Ridgeway’s father is disapproving of the career path that his son has taken, but Richard Ridgeway — now 18 years old — responds.
  • (full context.) (complete context)On their way back down south, Ridgeway and his crew, dressed in the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan, descended upon the town of.
  • After much deliberation, they determine that Cora should be taken down to the subterranean railroad station.
  • The tall guy who snatched Cora from the attic identifies himself as Ridgeway and claims that he has a legal right to return Cora to her family under the Fugitive Slave Law.
  • The narrator then recalls Cora’s voyage withRidgeway, during which another abducted slave, Jasper, refuses to shut up and refuses to stop singing.
  • (complete context)Boseman has been riding withRidgeway for three years; their group used to be larger, but the other guys progressively quit as the team grew smaller.
  • (whole context.) She inquires as to where they are headed, and Ridgeway responds that he has been ordered to locate a runaway.

Ridgeway kills Jasper without saying a word, and Jasper’s blood and bones spatter all over Cora’s clothing as a result.

(See the complete context.) Cora has done absolutely nothing to earn her numerous disasters.


(full context).

(complete context)Cora begs to use the outhouse, and the instant she closes the door onRidgewayis one of the most delightful experiences of her life.

(See the whole context.) And Boseman is quite inebriated.

However, a few seconds later, Ridgeway knocks Boseman to the ground, and Cora is unable to move because she is in shock.

Back in Tennessee, after leaving Ridgeway and his crew behind, Royal presented himself to Cora, following which the other men were summoned.

Cora is informed by Sam that Ridgeway discovered Caesar at the workplace before he had the opportunity to warn him.

Cora shouts out for Molly, and Ridgeway leaps to her feet and hugs her by the shoulders.

(See the complete context.) “She has come to a halt,” and “SHE WAS NEVER PROPERTY,” respectively.

She struggled and kickedRidgeway when she returned to Valentine.

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The Underground Railroad Chapter 3: Ridgeway Summary and Analysis

The background narrative of the slave catcher, Arnold Ridgeway, is told in the third chapter. In his father’s profession as a blacksmith, he was dedicated to his job, referring to it as “working the spirit,” and he instilled in his son the same dedication and desire (73). The young Ridgeway looked for role models in a variety of fields, but he was unable to locate any. At the age of fourteen, he decided to join a gang of patrollers to deal with his perplexity. The white southerners of that time dreaded slave revolts and social unrest, and they relied on gangs scouring the countryside to maintain order.

  1. The fact why Ridgeway selected him as his role model was partly due to the fact that his father detested him.
  2. Whenever there was a fugitive, they would happily attack plantations and question the slaves.
  3. It was the pursuit that provided him with the most excitement: rushing after someone and battering them into submission.
  4. Ridgeway and his father, on the other hand, were driven by the desire for cotton: his father to manufacture iron tools, and Ridgeway to maintain discipline.
  5. The fact that he was making his first journey this far north was alarming, but when Betsy was released into his care, the deputy at the jail treated him with respect.
  6. In exchange, Ridgeway gave up his virginity to her, but in doing so, he breached the conditions of her contract by taking the woman back to her master’s house to receive the payment.
  7. In comparison to the south, the north presented more difficult challenges, which Ridgeway excelled at overcoming.

Abolitionist attorneys erected legal barriers to prevent slave catchers from obtaining permission from the court to transport the runaways to the southern United States.

White men were supposed to own the land and everything on it, he felt, and everything was in its proper position.

Ridgeway returned to the south after his father passed away while coughing up soot from his blacksmithing.

There was one abolitionist in particular that irritated him: August Carter, a Delaware trader who was abolitionist.

Carter received a surprise visit from Ridgeway and his crew one night.

Ridgeway cherishes the memories of that night to this day.

When Mabel runs away, Randall summons the assistance of Ridgeway to locate her. He was unsuccessful, and he placed the responsibility on the Underground Railroad. He was made to assume that a station was actually open in the South as a result of Mabel’s escape. He pledged that he would demolish it.


As shown in this chapter, Ridgeway’s code of ethics reveals an ideology that is crucial to Colson Whitehead’s critique of American society. The underlying concept is straightforward: white America’s destiny is to ascend, expand, and prosper. White males are absolved of moral responsibility under the concept of destiny, because the oppression they impose on others is in accordance with the way things are intended to be. This ideology instills a sense of “unstoppable racial logic” into the concept of the “destiny of the nation.” These ideals serve as the “American imperative,” and as a result, they are fundamental to, if not intrinsic to, the concept of America (80).

  • In the case of Ridgeway’s father, he believes that his profession as a blacksmith allows him to fulfill his life’s purpose and takes great delight in the useful products he crafts with his own hands.
  • Ridgeway and his father are both “pieces of the same system,” meaning that they both work for the cotton industry.
  • Using a disparaging tone towards the slave hunters, the work presents a critical interpretation of this foundational ideology and its historical significance.
  • The duty of a patroller is not one that requires much effort.
  • Ridgeway, like many other young men, is drawn to the slave trade out of a desire to prove his value to his father when he is younger.
  • Ridgeway himself is portrayed as a cold-hearted businessman who is just concerned about making money.
  • His treatment of the captives he takes is also terrible to witness.
  • On the other hand, he, like many other human beings, is merely seeking to discover his or her own life’s meaning.

As a result, Ridgeway’s work was not inspired by a malicious intent at the outset of the project. This dualism reveals a nuanced, rather than a complete or all-encompassing, perspective of good and evil in the text, which is important to consider.

‘Underground Railroad’: Joel Edgerton Talks Ridgeway-Homer Relationship, Final Cora Standoff

This piece, which was first published on May 16 and contains spoilers for Episode 9 of “The Underground Railroad,” is being reposted with permission. A 10-episode limited series, “The Underground Railroad,” tells the story of escaped Georgia slave Cora’s (Thuso Mbedu) attempts to outrun slave catcher Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a man who is hell-bent on bringing her back to the plantation, after he was unsuccessful in capturing her runaway mother, Mabel (Thuso Mbedu), many years ago. Their game of cat and mouse culminates in Cora killing Ridgeway point blank at the bottom of a deep hole that serves as one of the entrances of the Underground Railroad, which is the show’s literal depiction of the Underground Railroad.

  • TheWrap spoke with Edgerton about Ridgeway’s path and how he was able to give the character the precise finale he believed the character deserved.
  • Joel Edgerton (Joel Edgerton): There was a certain amount of reluctance on my part.
  • Then there’s Ridgeway, who comes along with a proposition.
  • For one thing, it’s taking up space in that period of the play when I’m constantly attempting to drag Cora backwards, so it was a difficult decision.
  • And that path is really difficult and gloomy.
  • The other kinds of pathways that Barry opened up with the character were all about understanding what molded Ridgeway into the guy he eventually became.
  • To this day, my father expresses regret that he didn’t do more to mold the youngster into a man.
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What methods do parents use to assist their children in choosing the correct or wrong path?

What kind of devastation does this trigger throughout the rest of the world?

I think it was a worthwhile exploration from a conceptual standpoint.

If all he knows about me is that I protect him, that I feed him, that I educate him, and that I look after him, he will consider himself to be in my service and will not question what I am asking him to do for me.

Mac, the young son of an ex-slave on his father’s farm, was harmed as a result of his actions.

And it’s possible that if he could treat Homer with compassion and a fatherly aspect, even if he won’t be able to turn back the clock, he might be able to change things in his current life — despite all of the other awful things he’s doing in his previous life.

Homer, on the other hand, I believe is a subconscious heart that is manifesting itself out of Ridgeway.

I remember turning to Chase and saying, ‘Look, you know what I’m saying is not my viewpoint, and this is me playing a role,’ a couple of times.

‘I understand.’ Because if you ever get the pleasure of interviewing Chase or seeing him in person, you’ll quickly realize that he isn’t the character you think he is.

He also enjoys hanging out with his friends and pulling pranks on them.

‘Chase, I know in your childhood you were taught to be able to look an adult person in the eyes and be able to have a discussion with them of your own free choosing,’ Barry told him early in the rehearsal process.

It is possible that Homer might be penalized for making fun of an adult person, or even for just gazing them in the eyes or speaking out of turn.’ So watching Chase put on his tiny costume and hat and go around with his notepad and realize that he was sliding into a persona that wasn’t him was sort of nice to see a young child grasp the concept of slipping into a character that wasn’t themselves.

  • My impression of him was really positive, and I thoroughly liked spending time with him and his family.
  • Failure is not an option, and that is a potentially deadly situation.
  • As a result, he is incapable of failing at anything.
  • Bringing Cora back will not make up for the fact that he failed in his attempt to bring her mother back, but it will help to restore some of the equilibrium in the family.
  • The script and the presentation of the program with this person, in my opinion, did a good job of dealing with it.
  • When Ridgeway is hurt and knows he’s been beaten, why do you think he refuses to back down in the final minutes before Cora kills him?
  • It’s this refusal to accept defeat that I believe distinguishes a narcissist — and I believe we’re dealing with narcissism in Ridgeway.
  • And there’s the notion that you should repeat your errors.
  • True narcissism, I believe, causes people to stand firm and be unwavering in their beliefs.
  • There was abundant evidence that they were incorrect, that they lied, and that they are unwilling to accept responsibility for their mistakes and failure.
  • So I believe that when individuals like that are on a sinking ship, they are clinging to their mission statement as if they are going to be remembered as someone significant in history, but in reality they are just a f—ing kid who made a f—ing mistake.

“The Underground Railroad” is currently available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video.

‘The Underground Railroad’ Ending, Explained – Did Cora kill Ridgeway?

The Underground Railroad, a television series based on the fictitious novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead, is a powerful depiction of slavery. The tale, which takes place in the 1800s, depicts the atrocities and difficulties that were inflicted on enslaved African-Americans by white people. The plot revolves around a little girl named Cora from the southern United States who escapes from a Georgia farm by way of an underground railroad, which was built by abolitionists to transport slaves from the southern United States to northern America.

Barry Jenkins has produced and directed the ten-part series for Amazon Prime Video, which is available now.

We’ll do our best to resolve them to the best of our abilities.

Is ‘The Underground Railroad’ based’ a True Story?

The Underground Railroad, a television series created by Barry Jenkins, is based on a historical novel written by Colson Whitehead, which is a work of fiction. Taking place in an alternate world, the series has taken its historical foundation as the basis for its fictitious narrative of slaves, which has been developed around it. The Underground Railroad, on the other hand, was established by abolitionists during the mid-19th century. It served as a hidden conduit and a safe haven for enslaved African Americans during the Civil War.

Why was Cora Randall being hunted?

Cora’s mother, Mabel, abandoned her and fled the scene. Cora’s white master, Terrance Randall, retaliated against her for her actions. It happened when she was approached by a fellow slave Caesar, with whom Cora was fleeing from the Georgia farm at the time of the incident. During their escape, however, a party of slave catchers attempts to assault them, and in order to defend herself and Caesar, she reluctantly murders a white child, committing a serious crime. In fact, Cora herself admitted the occurrence when staying at the Valentine farm, where she had temporarily relocated.

Ridgeway had just one slave who managed to get away from him during his entire life’s work.

What happened to Caesar?

From the outset, Caesar’s character was regarded as if he were a god. His piercing blue eyes and a sense of ethereal mystery around him hinted that he was some type of wizard. Ridgeway apprehended him in South Carolina, where Cora and Caesar had taken sanctuary under fictitious identities. The confrontation between Ridgeway and Caesar concluded in a state of ambiguousness. In spite of this, the final picture implied that Ridgeway knew him as the character chanted, ” Long way from home “, referring to Caesar in the process.

Cora subsequently discovers that Caesar had been taken by Ridgeway and had been slain by the mob. Cora, on the other hand, longed for his return till the very end.

What happened to Cora’s mother, Mabel?

Cora’s quest comes to a conclusion in episode 9 of The Underground Railroad. The last and tenth episodes are structured as an epilogue, in which her mother and her narrative are depicted. Cora fled away from the Georgia farm in order to track out her mother, who had gone missing. She speculated that Mabel may have taken advantage of the subterranean railroad, but a station master informed her that no such name had ever been recorded. Mabel, on the other hand, never ran away. She was never a passenger on the train.

She was depressed and despondent.

When she recovered consciousness, she discovered herself in the middle of a marsh.

It was for this reason that neither Ridgeway nor Cora were ever able to track her down and capture her.

The Symbolism of Okra seeds

Cora had imagined that she would begin a fresh life when she locates her long-lost mother. She was wrong. The Okra seeds will make their new town look and feel a lot like their old one. African-American communities were moved to the United States in great numbers from their own nation of origin. They were employed as slaves and subjected to horrendous treatment. They only had their culture and their heritage to fall back on. These Okra seeds represented what was remained of what had been lost.

For a time, Cora was under the impression that the same was true.

But, in the end, she came to terms with the fact that the entire country had become her home.

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Did Cora kill Ridgeway and his assistant Homer?

It was discovered that the Valentine plantation had been invaded by white Hoosiers who were fearful of the freedom of emancipated slaves. Royal, Cora’s love interest, died as a result of the attack on him. Ridgeway, on the other hand, caught up with Cora just as she was about to flee the burning farm. He coerced her into participating in the Underground Railroad, which he has grown obsessed with. When Cora is about to drop down to the abandoned railroad station, she pushes Ridgeway off the lowering ladder.

There is a visual connection between this picture and the series’ opening sequence.

After having the opportunity to murder Ridgeway twice, Cora is stopped by a vision of Caesar and Royal, who convince her that she would be unable to live with the consequences of her actions.

Ridgeway and Homer are spared by Cora. She and another black girl get into a handcar and head out the door. The image and quiet imply that Ridgeway died at the end of the story, and Homer is reduced to the status of a slave without a boss.

Ending Explained

Cora emerges from the network of underground train tunnels. She plants the okra seeds her mother had given her as a symbol of her readiness to go on with her life. A black guy named Ollie, who is moving to the west in his wagon, is discovered by her when she is out on the road. He provides Cora and the other girls with a safe haven. They are on their way to an unknown future.

What’s left?

When on a voyage, a traveler is on his or her own. He or she, on the other hand, is never alone. A large number of individuals she encountered along the way, from Georgia to the West, supported Cora on her emotional journey. More than anything else, The Underground Railroadis a depiction of her physical and emotional journey along the Underground Railroad. The original story, as well as Barry Jenkins, makes political statements about White Supremacy. The American Imperative concept, which the slave catcher Ridgeway adheres to, is unpleasant and awful to contemplate.

  1. At times, a viewer will try to keep their emotions under check by convincing themselves that this is a “alternative world,” a work of fiction.
  2. The likeness sends shivers down the spines of all who see it.
  3. For a while, I tried to convince myself that it was a work of fiction, but it isn’t true.
  4. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll go even further and fully comprehend the message that the Underground Railroad is delivering to you.
  5. Nonetheless, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or leave a comment in the box below.
  6. The story is delivered in ten installments, each of which lasts more than an hour (except episode 7).
  7. Do not forget to check out Digital Mafia Talkies |
  8. Hikhar Agrawal is an Onstage Dramatist as well as a Screenwriter who lives in New York City.

The Biggest Differences Between The Underground Railroad and the Book It’s Based On

Slate provided the photo illustration. Kyle Kaplan/Amazon Studios provided the image. The Underground Railroad, a Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the 2016 novel by Colson Whitehead, will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, according to the company. Abolitionist author Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning novel follows Cora, a former enslaved woman who flees from a plantation in Georgia and makes her way north using an actual underground railroad system complete with underground tunnels and locomotives, as well as stations and conductors.

The actual railroad isn’t the only thing that contributes to Whitehead’s novel’s ability to take a skewed view of United States history.

In South Carolina, white folks who are committed to “uplift” coexist among liberated people while harboring heinous hidden motivations.

Hoosier free Black people dwell in enclaves around Indiana, where they live in an uncomfortable state of reconciliation with their white neighbors.

The following are some of the most significant changes between the book and the program. As you can anticipate, there will be spoilers below.

Caesar and Royal

Despite a few possibilities for love, Cora manages to stay out of romantic relationships in the story. Her experience of being (she believes) abandoned by her mother, as well as her general sense of captivity, appears to have left her unwilling to pursue romantic relationships. In the novel, Caesar, who begs Cora to accompany him on his voyage away from the plantation, thus beginning her adventure, is portrayed as a brother and comrade rather than as a lover. Cora’s roommates in the South Carolina dormitory taunt her about him, but he ends up with another lady instead of teasing her about him.

  1. While Cora is fleeing South Carolina when Ridgeway, the slave catcher, captures her and sends her back on the run, she is concerned about Caesar’s chance of arrest, reasoning that if she had “made him her lover,” they would at the very least be captured together.
  2. She had strayed from the road of life at some point in the past and was unable to find her way back to the family of people.” In the second episode of the sitcom, Cora falls in love with Caesar, who is played by Aaron Pierre.
  3. He approaches her and asks her to be his wife; she doesn’t say no.
  4. Besides Ridgeway, Cora has another love interest on the program in Royal, a freeborn man and railroad conductor who saves her from the latter and transports her to the Valentine winery in Indiana, where a group of free Black people live in community.
  5. When he passes away, they are the memories she will hold onto, along with her recollections of Caesar on the dance floor with her friends.

Grace and Molly

Both the novel and the program are examinations of the maternal instinct, as well as the ways in which enslavers play on and frustrate that impulse, in order to control and harm their victims. Cora herself falls prey to this dynamic early in the novel, when she instinctively saves Chester, an enslaved youngster she’s been caring for, from a beating by the plantation’s owner, who is also a victim of the dynamic. He hits both her and Chester as reprisal, punishing both the protector and those who have been protected.

The first, Fanny (who does not appear in the novel), is a character who lives in the attic crawl space where Cora hides during the episode that takes place in North Carolina.

The second, Molly, is the daughter of Sybil, with whom Cora shares a cabin when she stays at the Valentine winery with her mother.

Molly, on the other hand, is a sign of optimism for the future in the episode, as she flees the burning Valentine town with Cora, accompanying her into the tunnels and running west. Her relationship with Cora is the only one that isn’t severable due to white meddling.


Jenkins’ adaptation makes a significant change to the narrative of slave catcher Arnold Ridgeway, who is played on the show by Joel Edgerton. A blacksmith is meant to follow in his father’s shoes, but Ridgeway isn’t sure he wants to do it: “He couldn’t turn to the anvil since there was no way he could outshine his father’s brilliance,” the story says. After becoming a patroller at the age of 14 and performing duties such as stopping Black people for passes, raiding “slave villages,” and bringing any Black person who is “wayward” to jail after being flogged, his father is dissatisfied with his son’s performance because he has previously fought with the head patroller.

When Ridgeway’s father appears on the program, Jenkins adds to the character’s past by portraying him as one of the show’s only morally upright white males.

As a result, Ridgeway’s decision to go into slave-catching, which in the novel is portrayed as inevitable, becomes a personal revolt against his father’s ethical worldview.


Mabel’s abandoning of Cora serves as the tragic core of Whitehead’s novel. When Cora thinks about Mabel, she remembers her as a caring and present mother. So why would she abandon her daughter in slavery? In the novel, a sequence of rapes serves as the catalyst for the plot. As a slave to the white overseer (“the master’s eyes and ears over his own kind”), Moses coerces Mabel into having sexual relations with him by appealing to her mother instincts toward Cora, who is 8 years old at the time.

  • Polly, Mabel’s best friend, is given a larger part in Mabel’s flight in Jenkins’ production.
  • Polly is married to Moses, and their child is also stillborn; as a result, she is compelled to work as a wet nurse for a set of twins born to an enslaved woman on a neighboring plantation, which is situated in the South of the United States.
  • It is revealed at the conclusion of both the novel and the show that Mabel is not living in Canada, happy and free while her daughter suffers.
  • Mabel is arranging her getaway in Whitehead’s novel, bringing food, flint and tinder, and a machete with her, and departing before nightfall.

The protagonist of both stories, Mabel, learns mid-flight that she must return to Cora’s side of the story. The bite of the snake eventually finds her, but it’s too late.

The Underground Railroad (novel) – Wikipedia

The Underground Railroad

Author Colson Whitehead
Country United States
Language English
Subject Slavery
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date August 2, 2016
Pages 320
ISBN 978-0-385-54236-4

American authorColson Whitehead’s historical fiction work The Underground Railroadwas released by Doubleday in 2016 and is set during the Civil War. As told through the eyes of two slaves from Georgia during the antebellum period of the nineteenth century, Cora and Caesar make a desperate bid for freedom from their Georgia plantation by following the Underground Railroad, which is depicted in the novel as an underground transportation system with safe houses and secret routes. The novel was a critical and commercial success, debuting on the New York Times bestseller list and garnering numerous literary honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Award for Fiction, the Arthur C.

The miniseries adaption for ATV, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, will premiere in May 2021 on the network.


The tale is recounted in the third person, with the most of the attention being drawn to Cora. Throughout the book, the chapters shift between Cora’s past and the backgrounds of the featured people. Ajarry, Cora’s grandmother; Ridgeway, a slave catcher; Stevens, a South Carolina doctor conducting a social experiment; Ethel, the wife of a North Carolina station agent; Caesar, a fellow slave who escapes the plantation with Cora; and Mabel, Cora’s mother are among the characters who appear in the novel.

  • Cora is a slave on a farm in Georgia, and she has become an outcast since her mother Mabel abandoned her and fled the country.
  • Cora is approached by Caesar about a possible escape strategy.
  • During their escape, they come across a bunch of slave hunters, who abduct Cora’s young buddy Lovey and take her away with them.
  • Cora and Caesar, with the assistance of a novice abolitionist, track down the Subterranean Railroad, which is represented as a true underground railroad system that runs throughout the southern United States, delivering runaways northward.
  • When Ridgeway learns of their escape, he immediately initiates a manhunt for them, primarily as a form of retaliation for Mabel, who is the only escapee he has ever failed to apprehend.
  • According to the state of South Carolina, the government owns former slaves but employs them, provides medical care for them, and provides them with community housing.
  • Ridgeway comes before the two can depart, and Cora is forced to return to the Railroad on her own for the remainder of the day.
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Cora finally ends up in a decommissioned railroad station in North Carolina.

Slavery in North Carolina has been abolished, with indentured servants being used in its place.

Martin, fearful of what the North Carolinians would do to an abolitionist, takes Cora into his attic and keeps her there for a number of months.

While Cora is descending from the attic, a raid is carried out on the home, and she is recaptured by Ridgeway, while Martin and Ethel are executed by the crowd in their absence.

Ridgeway’s traveling group is assaulted by runaway slaves when stopped in Tennessee, and Cora is freed as a result of the attack.

The farm is home to a diverse group of freedmen and fugitives who coexist peacefully and cooperatively in their daily activities.

However, Royal, an operator on the railroad, encourages Cora to do so.

Eventually, the farm is destroyed, and several people, including Royal, are slain during a raid by white Hoosiers on the property.

Ridgeway apprehends Cora and compels her to accompany him to a neighboring railroad station that has been shuttered.

Homer is listening in on his views on the “American imperative” as he whispers them to him in his diary when he is last seen.

Cora then bolts down the railroad rails. She eventually emerges from the underworld to find herself in the midst of a caravan headed west. She is offered a ride by one of the wagons’ black drivers, who is dressed in black.

Literary influences and parallels

As part of the “Acknowledgements,” Whitehead brings up the names of two well-known escaped slaves: “Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, clearly.” While visiting Jacobs’s home state of North Carolina, Cora is forced to take refuge in an attic where, like Jacobs, she is unable to stand but can watch the outside world through a hole that “had been cut from the inside, the work of a former tenant.” This parallel was noticed by Martin Ebel, who wrote about it in a review for the SwissTages-Anzeiger.

He also points out that the “Freedom Trail,” where the victims of North Carolina lynchings are hanged from trees, has a historical precedent in Roman crosses erected along the Appian Way to execute slave revolters who had joinedSpartacus’ slave rebellion, which was written about by Arthur Koestler in his novelThe Gladiators.

Ridgeway has been compared to both Captain Ahab of Moby-Dick and the slave catcher August Pullman of the television seriesUnderground, according to Kathryn Schulz in The New Yorker: “Both Ridgeway and August Pullman, in “Underground,” are Ahab-like characters, privately and demonically obsessed with tracking down specific fugitives.” Neither Ahab nor Ridgeway have a warm place for a black boy: Ahab has a soft heart for the cabin-boy Pip, and Ridgeway has a soft spot for 10-year-old Homer, whom he acquired as a slave and freed the next day.

Whitehead’s North Carolina is a place where all black people have been “abolished.” Martin Ebel draws attention to the parallels between Cora’s hiding and the Nazi genocide of Jews, as well as the parallels between Cora’s concealment and Anne Frank’s.

He had three gallows made for Cora and her two companion fugitives so that they might be put to a merciless death as soon as they were apprehended and returned.


External video
Presentation by Whitehead at the Miami Book Fair onThe Underground Railroad, November 20, 2016,C-SPAN

Critical reception

The novel garnered mostly good responses from critics. It received high accolades from critics for its reflection on the history and present of the United States of America. The Underground Railroad was named 30th in The Guardian’s selection of the 100 greatest novels of the twenty-first century, published in 2019. Among other accolades, the work was named the best novel of the decade by Paste and came in third place (together with Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad) on a list compiled by Literary Hub.

Honors and awards

The novel has garnered a variety of honors, including the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction for fiction writing in general. It was E. Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, published in 1993, that was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer and the National Book Awards. When awarding the Pulitzer Prize, the jury cited this novel’s “smart mixing of reality and allegory that mixes the savagery of slavery with the drama of escape in a myth that relates to modern America” as the reason for its selection.

Clarke Award for science fiction literature and the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, The Underground Railroad was a finalist for the 2017 Man Booker Prize and was named to the Man Booker Prize longlist.

The International Astronomical Union’s Working Group forPlanetary System Nomenclature named acrateronPluto’smoonCharonCora on August 5, 2020, after the fictional character Cora from the novel.

Television adaptation

In March 2017, it was revealed that Amazon was developing a limited drama series based on The Underground Railroad, which will be written and directed by Barry Jenkins. In 2021, the series will be made available on Amazon Prime Video on May 14, 2021.


  1. Brian Lowry is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (May 13, 2021). “‘The Underground Railroad’ takes you on a tense journey through an alternate past,” says the author. Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Underground Railroad,” which won the 2016 National Book Award for fiction, was retrieved on May 19, 2021. The National Book Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of literature. The original version of this article was published on December 8, 2017. 6th of December, 2016
  2. Retrieved ‘The Underground Railroad Is More Than a Metaphor in Colson Whitehead’s Newest Novel,’ says the New York Times. The original version of this article was published on October 19, 2018. “The Underground Railroad (novel) SummaryStudy Guide,” which was retrieved on October 18, 2018, was also retrieved. Bookrags. The original version of this article was published on April 16, 2017. Obtainable on April 16, 2017
  3. Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (London, 2017), p. 185
  4. AbMartin Ebel’s The Underground Railroad (London, 2017), p. 185. (September 17, 2017). “”Underground Railroad: An Enzyklopädie of Dehumanization,” by Colson Whitehead (in German). Deutschlandfunk. The original version of this article was archived on April 18, 2021. “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” (The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad) was published on March 16, 2021. The original version of this article was archived on July 23, 2020. 2 March 2020
  5. Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (London, 2017), pp. 242-243
  6. 2 March 2020
  7. In Colson Whitehead’s book, The Underground Railroad, published in London in 2017, the white politician Garrison declares, “We exterminated niggers.” abColson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (London, 2017), p. 250
  8. AbKakutani, Michiko, The Underground Railroad (London, 2017), p. 250. (August 2, 2016). In this review, “Underground Railroad” reveals the horrors of slavery and the poisonous legacy it left behind. The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. The original version of this article was published on April 28, 2019. Obtainable on April 14, 2017
  9. Julian Lucas Lucas, Julian (September 29, 2016). “New Black Worlds to Get to Know” is a review of the film “New Black Worlds to Know.” The New York Review of Books is a literary magazine published in New York City. The original version of this article was archived on April 13, 2021. abPreston, Alex
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  11. Ab (October 9, 2016). Luminous, angry, and wonderfully innovative is how one reviewer described Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. The Guardian is a British newspaper. The original version of this article was published on February 9, 2019. “The 100 finest books of the twenty-first century,” which was retrieved on April 14, 2017. The Guardian is a British newspaper. The original version of this article was published on December 6, 2019. “The 40 Best Novels of the 2010s,” which was retrieved on September 22, 2019. The 14th of October, 2019. The original version of this article was published on October 15, 2019. Retrieved on November 9, 2019
  12. Ab”2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners and Nominees” (Pulitzer Prize winners and nominees for 2017). The Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 2017. The original version of this article was published on April 11, 2017. Alter, Alexandra (April 10, 2017)
  13. Retrieved April 10, 2017. (November 17, 2016). “Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Underground Railroad’ wins the National Book Award,” reports the New York Times. Journal of the New York Times (ISSN 0362-4331). The original version of this article was published on February 9, 2019. “Archived copy” was obtained on January 24, 2017
  14. “archived copy”. The original version of this article was published on May 7, 2019. Obtainable on May 13, 2019. CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. Page, Benedicte, “Whitehead shortlisted for Arthur C Clarke Award”Archived16 August 2017 at theWayback Machine, The Bookseller, May 3, 2017
  16. French, Agatha. “Whitehead shortlisted for Arthur C Clarke Award”Archived16 August 2017 at theWayback Machine, The Bookseller, May 3, 2017. “Among the recipients of the American Library Association’s 2017 prize is Rep. John Lewis’ ‘March: Book Three.'” The Los Angeles Times published this article. The original version of this article was published on December 8, 2017. Sophie Haigney’s article from January 24, 2017 was retrieved (July 27, 2017). “Arundhati Roy and Colson Whitehead Are Among the Authors on the Man Booker Longlist.” Journal of the New York Times (ISSN 0362-4331). The original version of this article was published on December 12, 2018. Loughrey, Clarisse (May 23, 2018)
  17. Retrieved May 23, 2018. (July 27, 2017). “The longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2017 has been announced.” The Independent is a newspaper published in the United Kingdom. The original version of this article was published on July 7, 2018. Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad (National Book Award Winner) (Oprah’s Book Club) was published on May 23, 2018, and it was written by Colson Whitehead. On December 6, 2016, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) published the ” Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature – International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN – Planetary Names: Crater, craters: Cora on Charon.”” The original version of this article was archived on March 25, 2021. On August 14, 2020, Kimberly Roots published an article entitled “The Underground Railroad Series, From Moonlight Director, Greenlit at Amazon.” Archived 29 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, TVLine, March 27, 2017
  18. Haring, Bruce, Archived 29 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine, TVLine, March 27, 2017
  19. (February 25, 2021). “The premiere date for the Amazon Prime Limited Series ‘The Underground Railroad’ has been set.” Deadline. February 25, 2021
  20. Retrieved February 25, 2021

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