What Page Is The Man Burned In The Underground Railroad? (Solution)

From one end of the state to the next, or at least so it seems in this episode of The Underground Railroad (“Chapter 5: Tennessee: Exodus”), Aaron Ridgeway’s home turf has been set on fire and left a burning field of ash.

What happens in Chapter 2 of the Underground Railroad?

  • The Underground Railroad Chapter 2: Georgia Summary Analysis. Where James is content with the stable profits produced by the plantation, Terrance is always scheming to find ways to make more money, including by growing more and more brutal toward the slaves. Cora sets up the children’s race at Jockey’s feast.

What happens in chapter 6 of the Underground Railroad?

Summary and Analysis Chapter 6. Cora has no way of knowing how long she remains trapped underneath Sam’s house in the darkness. As she waits, she worries about what has become of Caesar, wishing the two of them had left South Carolina when they had the chance. A train finally appears but passes Cora without stopping.

What happens in chapter 10 of the Underground Railroad?

The bulk of “Chapter 10: Mabel” is, of course, devoted to the story of Cora’s mother, Mabel (a heartbreaking performance from Sheila Atim). The story is as much about Mabel’s’ friend Polly (Abigail Achiri) in the aftermath of a stillbirth as it is about what might motivate Mabel to leave her daughter behind.

What happened in chapter 4 of the Underground Railroad?

“Chapter 4: The Great Spirit” is a look into Arnold Ridgeway’s upbringing and the spiritual ideology he contends with, but also a short story about the first time he helped catch a runaway. The idea of the Great Spirit that young Ridgeway seems to be obsessed with has been inherited from his father.

Where does Chapter 2 of the Underground Railroad take place?

Griffin, South Carolina – a seeming paradise of progress and racial harmony that hides dark secrets, especially the secrets of “Bessie” and “Christian.” Meanwhile, bounty hunter Arnold Ridgeway begins his pursuit of Cora.

What happens to Ridgeway in 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 killed Boseman in the Underground Railroad?

Boseman is fatally shot by Royal after being caught attempting to rape Cora. Get the entire The Underground Railroad LitChart as a printable PDF.

Is there an underground railroad Season 2?

The Underground Railroad Season 2 won’t come in 2021 Whether the series is renewed or not, we’ve got some bad news when it comes to the release date. The Underground Railroad Season 2 won’t come in 2021. There simply isn’t enough time to get through all the stages of production now.

What gifts does Ridgeway give to Cora *?

Cora remarks that while she is “caught,” Homer chooses to stay with Ridgeway; Homer simply looks confused and goes back to his notebook. Cora is also given an uncomfortable pair of wooden shoes, and Ridgeway says that he is taking her for supper.

How many chapters are in the Underground Railroad?

Based on the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead, “The Underground Railroad” is a story divided into ten chapters, but not in a traditional episodic manner.

Why does Stevens rob graves?

According to his society, Stevens’ grave robbing is a crime but not the most serious of crimes. Stevens himself chooses to understand grave robbing as a noble calling in order to ease his own conscience.

Who is Arnold Ridgeway?

Arnold Ridgeway, the slave catcher who dedicates himself to finding Cora, has been a slave catcher since age 14. He spent most of his time in New York City, strategizing ways to identify and capture former slaves without being stopped by abolitionists. Ridgeway gained a reputation as both effective and brutal.

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.

How many pages is the underground railroad?

During their escape, a white boy tries to capture Cora, and she hits him repeatedly on the head with a rock, causing his death and making her wanted for murder. Cora and Caesar travel the underground railroad to South Carolina, where Cora is given forged papers identifying her as a freewoman named Bessie Carpenter.

Why did Cora run away?

Cora ran away from the Georgia plantation, in order to find her missing mother. She thought Mabel could have used the underground railroad, but as told by a station master, no such name was ever registered. In fact, Mabel never ran away. She never used the railroad.

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.

  1. “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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When we get back to the lake, Ridgeway is “rescuing” Cora by dragging her out of the water with him.
  5. She sneezes and coughs.
  6. “Is this what you’re looking for?
  7. “It ain’t that simple,” says the author.

Ridgeway buryes Jasper’s grey body in the soil before they leave the location.

Nathan C.

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

On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Coles’s On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

IndianaSummary Royal, a freeborn black man, is in charge of transporting Cora to a farm in Indiana, where she is rescued by a group of African-American men. Royal and his accomplice Red had traveled to Tennessee in order to rescue Justin, another runaway slave who was traveling with them as the third person. When Royal learned that Cora had been taken into captivity by Ridgeway, he decided to postpone their return to Indiana in order to rescue her as well. Once in Indiana, Cora settles on a farm owned by John Valentine, a light-skinned African man who utilizes his white look to advocate for the cause of Africans in the United States of America.

  1. She also attends school alongside the farm’s children as well as with former slaves who are pursuing a higher degree.
  2. After an escaped slave who was near death landed on their doorstep, John and his wife, Gloria (whose freedom he acquired after meeting her on a plantation), decided to dedicate their property to abolitionist activities.
  3. The majority of fugitives that travel through the farm eventually make their way to Canada or another location after they have healed and prepared for their next voyage.
  4. Cora is unsuccessful.
  5. Similarly to her experience in South Carolina, Cora is unsure whether or not she should continue north.
  6. Cora begins to develop feelings for Royal, who continues to work for the underground railroad out of the Valentine farm, which serves as a base of operations.
  7. He eventually brings her to an abandoned station of the underground railroad that is nearby.
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Royal informs her that he is unsure of the direction the route will take them.

The author recounts that even though his home was destroyed, he managed to flee north and continue his job with the underground railroad network.

Sam has received word that Terrance Randall has passed away.

A weekly meeting of the Valentine community is held, which includes feasting, dancing, and special performances by musicians, poets, and public speakers.

Mingo, who purchased his and his family’s freedom, is dissatisfied with Valentine’s treatment of fleeing slaves, and he is concerned that the existence of individuals like Cora is causing whites to get enraged.

Mingo makes the decision to create a discussion between himself and Lander in order to prove his point.

They ransack the property and set fire to the farmhouse, murdering or kidnapping everybody they come across along the way.

Royal’s final words to Cora are, “Go to the abandoned underground railroad station and find out where it leads.” Cora attempts to flee, but she is apprehended by Ridgeway and Homer.

Analysis Cora’s disastrous separation with Valentine is foreshadowed throughout this chapter.

However, there are many subtle foreshadowing instances that occur before this.

Cora is informed by him that she may be the one who discovers the truth.

After all, her internal debate over whether or not to continue traveling from Indiana is similar to the internal debate she had with herself in South Carolina, suggesting that the outcome this time will be the same: she will stay as long as she is able, until fate forces her to leave her current location.

  1. The option to flee is perhaps more enticing in this situation than it was in South Carolina earlier this year.
  2. Royal offers to accompany her to Canada.
  3. Cora’s urge to stop jogging, on the other hand, is much stronger than it was earlier.
  4. Cora grew up in South Carolina and has remained there ever since.
  5. Despite the fact that Lander’s claim that everyone should be accepted at Valentine is sympathetic, even Cora realizes that it is imprecise and may not be practical.
  6. Lander’s point of view appears to be desirable in Cora’s eyes.

It is this conflict in Valentine that reflects an ongoing discussion among free African Americans in antebellum America over the need of “respectability.” A number of people asserted that if Africans born free and legally freed learned to conduct themselves as respected members of white society, they would be able to demonstrate to white Americans that African races were not inferior to white races and, as a result, improve treatment for all blacks overall (and especially for themselves).

Others replied that adhering to the standards of white society was a means of validating the merits of those regulations in the first place.

Because of this, free blacks would be seen just as culpable in the institution of slavery as free white people were.

One of the reasons why many Southern states were concerned about the education of blacks was that it increased the probability of intellectual, articulate, anti-establishment voices like Lander’s being produced and heard in their communities.

During the episode, a character on Valentine says to Cora, “Master once told me that the only thing more deadly than an assassination attempt was an assassination attempt with a book.”

The Underground Railroad Chapter 2: Georgia Summary and Analysis

It is Cora’s point of view that we are introduced in the second chapter, which begins with her sitting at the edge of her little garden plot, anticipating the commencement of celebrations to commemorate the birthday of a fellow slave, Jockey. She shares memories of the garden, a place where she “owns herself for a few hours” every Sunday and where she “owns herself for a few hours” (12). When her grandmother, Ajarry, came on the Randall plantation, she was the one who planted the first seed in the plot.

  • Cora was left to fend for herself when she was eleven years old, when she was left to fend for herself.
  • Blake, a young, strong laborer who had recently joined the Randall plantation, was the next to arrive.
  • When Cora was overcome with wrath, she “smashed the doghouse with a hatchet” (19), as she put it.
  • Cora’s social standing deteriorated even worse as a result of the incident.
  • No one intervened.
  • Continuing on the day of Jockey’s birthday celebration, the tale continues.
  • This type of celebration, a mini slave liberation, is exclusively observed in the northern half of the Randall population, during the reign of King James I of England.

Chester, a stray that Cora takes care of, is among the children preparing for the races, and Cora observes them with amusement.

After the races, Cora is approached by Caesar, a new slave with whom she has never talked before.


I’d want you to come.

After that, they all sit and watch the wrestling contests until eventually, the dancing begins; this is an opportunity for the slaves to form “an enclosed circle around themselves that separated the human spirits within from the depravity beyond” (28).

In the middle of the slaves’ rejoicing, the Randall brothers arrive out of nowhere, bearing wine glasses in their hands.

Terrance, on the other hand, preys on the female slaves under his control.

Terrance notices that Michael has died as a result of a beating by the overseer, Connelly, and decides to make the slaves dance to entertain them.

Terrance starts pounding Chester with his cane, causing him to bleed profusely.

After only a short second, she runs to defend Chester with her own body, and the cane lands on her instead.

It has taken Cora many days to recuperate from the cane as well as from the whipping that followed it three days later.

Cora considers her mother’s escape from the Randall plantation as she battles with her health, and readers eventually hear the story of Mabel, who fled away from the Randall plantation years ago, leaving Cora behind.

The missing yams, however, were never located since Mabel had taken them with her and left the vacant garden plot for Cora to take over.

Two days later, James passes away, and Terrance is preparing to take over his brother’s portion of the family property.

The night before his sentencing, Caesar pays a visit to Cora in Hob, where he attempts to persuade her to join him on his escape, but she rejects him once more.

Terrance gives them a presentation on the greater cotton yields he anticipates, as well as other new, harsher restrictions.

After that day, Cora had a change of heart and resolves to flee the country with Caesar.

A local lawyer instead liquidated her fortune, and Caesar’s family was divided and sold in the southern United States.

On one occasion, a white gentleman contacted him and offered to let him sell his bowls at his shop throughout the week.

They begin their escape the night before, when Cora digs up a bunch of yams from her garden to take with her, and they make their way across a marsh at the border of the Randall estate.

They had no option but to comply and continue on their journey.

During the altercation, Cora smashes a rock into the brain of a kid who is trying to detain her and manages to flee with his life.

Cora and Caesar arrive safely to Fletcher’s residence, where he informs them of the current state of affairs.

Because of Cora’s assault on her assailant, they were now “as good as murders” in addition to being fugitives on the run.

They make it safely through the town and continue on their journey.

A stairway leads them to the train platform, where Lumbly, the station agent, greets them and leads them into the station.

Lumbly provides them a sketchy train timetable, and the runaways take the next train, despite the fact that they have no idea where they are going.

They board the train, and it begins its journey. Cora sits and watches the night pass them by till they arrive at their destination, when they step out into the South Carolina sun.


After describing life on the Randall plantation in the second chapter, the author creates an atmosphere that serves as a somber background for the remainder of the novel. Terrance Randall, the plantation’s master, is a despotic dictator. His most graphic manifestation involves bringing in woodworkers to carve magical sculptures into stocks that were originally intended to be used as a punishment for a runaway slave. The narrator explains how the carvings in the wood light up as they burn, “twisting in the flames as if they were alive” (47), while Big Anthony is publicly tortured and burnt alive, on display for three days straight.

  • Readers will understand why Cora wants to flee as a result of these detailed details, which will help them grasp her motivations for wanting to go.
  • Through the course of the narrative, Cora will make many allusions to this terrible backdrop.
  • Two of Cora’s distinguishing attributes are on exhibit in this first chapter: her capacity to forge her own path in the midst of adversity and, in a related vein, her will to succeed in spite of obstacles.
  • Internal rivalries and petty vendettas exist on the plantation—for example, rumors circulate that Cora slips out to the marsh on full moons to engage in fornication with donkeys and goats—all of which contribute to the plantation’s “usefulness” to the society (21).
  • The text does not indicate for whose advantage this imposed “circle of respectability” is in place: whether it is for the benefit of slaves or for the profit of masters (21).
  • At least at initially, being in the company of “abject animals” such as the mentally and physically challenged residents of Hob makes her feel uncomfortable (17).
  • In addition, she begins to believe that she is a part of the group as well.

Cora’s “castle” on the estate is transformed into a genuine home for Hob and her family (54).

Cora is also revealed to be a character with a strong sense of purpose.

In particular, Blake, a competent field worker who wants to take over the plot of land for his dog, stands out as a particularly powerful schemer.

Blake’s doghouse is then demolished with a hatchet in front of a mob of bystanders, and she escapes without injury.

More than merely resolve, the language implies that Cora’s actions are guided by an intuitive sense and are unique in their own right.

During the event, Cora is described by the narrator as being “weird” and “under a spell,” and thereafter she is unable to recall what compelled her to execute the deed (19, 39).

Combining her strong emotionality with her determination, Cora proves to be an extremely formidable protagonist.

There have been reports that even Ajarry has vowed to use violence if anyone disturbs her vegetable plot.

This first chapter, in particular, underscores the significance of mother to daughter inheritance, a concept that will recur often throughout the rest of the book.

Cora and Caesar are about to go on their first journey on the subterranean railroad when the conductor, Lumbly, informs them that the actual face of America can only be seen from the train itself.

The Underground Railroad Questions and Answers

The Underground Railroad’s Question and Answersection is a fantastic resource for asking questions, finding answers, and discussing the work with other readers. A fugitive is defined as “a person who has escaped from a location or who is in hiding, especially in order to evade arrest or persecution” by the dictionary. Xavier C1186790 posed the question. Jill d170087 responded on 10/29/2021514 PM to your question. View All of the Answers As stated in the text: “I prefer the American spirit, the one that drew us out of the Old World and into the New,” in order to conquer, construct, and civilize.

  • In order to elevate the less fortunate races.
  • And, if not, why not?
  • A perceptive, clever, and driven individual is described as her personality traits.
  • Ellie S1044832 posed the question.
  • View All of the Answers Speculate on Your Own Question
See also:  Who Was The Presidint Of The Underground Railroad? (Solved)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Cora is approached by Caesar about a possible escape strategy.
  3. During their escape, they come across a bunch of slave hunters, who abduct Cora’s young buddy Lovey and take her away with them.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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
  10. Retrieved on April 13, 2021
  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. pastemagazine.com. 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. Amazon.com.ISBN9780385542364. On December 6, 2016, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group on Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) published the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, which includes the names of craters on the planets Charon, Pluto, and Uranus “. 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
See also:  When Did John Rankin Begin Helping Slaves Escape On The Underground Railroad? (Professionals recommend)

The True History Behind Amazon Prime’s ‘Underground Railroad’

If you want to know what this country is all about, I always say, you have to ride the rails,” the train’s conductor tells Cora, the fictitious protagonist of Colson Whitehead’s 2016 novelThe Underground Railroad, as she walks into a boxcar destined for the North. As you race through, take a look about you to see the genuine face of America.” Cora’s vision is limited to “just blackness, mile after mile,” according to Whitehead, as she peers through the carriage’s slats. In the course of her traumatic escape from servitude, the adolescent eventually understands that the conductor’s remark was “a joke.

  1. Cora and Caesar, a young man enslaved on the same Georgia plantation as her, are on their way to liberation when they encounter a dark other world in which they use the railroad to go to freedom.
  2. ” The Underground Railroad,” a ten-part limited series premiering this week on Amazon Prime Video, is directed by Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins and is based on the renowned novel by Alfred North Whitehead.
  3. When it comes to portraying slavery, Jenkins takes a similar approach to Whitehead’s in the series’ source material.
  4. “And as a result, I believe their individuality has been preserved,” Jenkins says Felix.

The consequences of their actions are being inflicted upon them.” Here’s all you need to know about the historical backdrop that informs both the novel and the streaming adaptation of “The Underground Railroad,” which will premiere on May 14th. (There will be spoilers for the novel ahead.)

Did Colson Whitehead baseThe Underground Railroadon a true story?

“The reality of things,” in Whitehead’s own words, is what he aims to portray in his work, not “the facts.” His characters are entirely made up, and the story of the book, while based on historical facts, is told in an episodic style, as is the case with most episodic fiction. This book traces Cora’s trek to freedom, describing her lengthy trip from Georgia to the Carolinas, Tennessee and Indiana.) Each step of the journey presents a fresh set of hazards that are beyond Cora’s control, and many of the people she meets suffer horrible ends.) What distinguishes The Underground Railroad from previous works on the subject is its presentation of the titular network as a physical rather than a figurative transportation mechanism.

According to Whitehead, who spoke to NPR in 2016, this alteration was prompted by his “childhood belief” that the Underground Railroad was a “literal tunnel beneath the earth”—a misperception that is surprisingly widespread.

Webber Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons While the Underground Railroad was composed of “local networks of anti-slavery people,” both Black and white, according to Pulitzer Prize–winning historianEric Foner, the Underground Railroad actually consisted of “local networks of anti-slavery people, both Black and white, who assisted fugitives in various ways,” from raising funds for the abolitionist cause to taking cases to court to concealing runaways in safe houses.

Although the actual origins of the name are unknown, it was in widespread usage by the early 1840s.

Manisha Sinha, author of The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, argues that the Underground Railroad should be referred to as the “Abolitionist Underground” rather than the “Underground Railroad” because the people who ran it “were not just ordinary, well-meaning Northern white citizens, activists, particularly in the free Black community,” she says.

As Foner points out, however, “the majority of the initiative, and the most of the danger, fell on the shoulders of African-Americans who were fleeing.” a portrait taken in 1894 of Harriet Jacobs, who managed to hide in an attic for nearly seven years after fleeing from slavery.

Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “Recognizable historical events and patterns,” according to Foner, are used by Whitehead in a way that is akin to that of the late Toni Morrison.

According to Sinha, these effects may be seen throughout Cora’s journey.

According to Foner, author of the 2015 bookGateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, “the more you know about this history, the more you can appreciate what Whitehead is doing in fusing the past and the present, or perhaps fusing the history of slavery with what happened after the end of slavery.”

What time period doesThe Underground Railroadcover?

Caesar (Aaron Pierre) and Cora (Thuso Mbedu) believe they’ve discovered a safe haven in South Carolina, but their new companions’ behaviors are based on a belief in white supremacy, as seen by their deeds. Kyle Kaplan is a producer at Amazon Studios. The Underground Railroad takes place around the year 1850, which coincides with the adoption of the Fugitive Slave Act. Runaways who had landed in free states were targeted by severe regulations, and those who supported them were subjected to heavy punishments.

In spite of the fact that it was intended to hinder the Underground Railroad, according to Foner and Sinha, the legislation actually galvanized—and radicalized—the abolitionist cause.

“Every time the individual switches to a different condition, the novel restarts,” the author explains in his introduction.

” Cora’s journey to freedom is replete with allusions to pivotal moments in post-emancipation history, ranging from the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the mid-20th century to white mob attacks on prosperous Black communities in places like Wilmington, North Carolina (targeted in 1898), and Tulsa, Oklahoma (targeted in 1898).

According to Spencer Crew, former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and emeritus director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this “chronological jumble” serves as a reminder that “the abolition of slavery does not herald the abolition of racism and racial attacks.” This problem has survived in many forms, with similar effects on the African American community,” says the author.

What real-life events doesThe Underground Railroaddramatize?

In Whitehead’s envisioned South Carolina, abolitionists provide newly liberated people with education and work opportunities, at least on the surface of things. However, as Cora and Caesar quickly discover, their new companions’ conviction in white superiority is in stark contrast to their kind words. (Eugenicists and proponents of scientific racism frequently articulated opinions that were similar to those espoused by these fictitious characters in twentieth-century America.) An inebriated doctor, while conversing with a white barkeep who moonlights as an Underground Railroad conductor, discloses a plan for his African-American patients: I believe that with targeted sterilization, initially for the women, then later for both sexes, we might liberate them from their bonds without worry that they would slaughter us in our sleep.

  • “Controlled sterilization, research into communicable diseases, the perfecting of new surgical techniques on the socially unfit—was it any wonder that the best medical talents in the country were flocking to South Carolina?” the doctor continues.
  • The state joined the Union in 1859 and ended slavery inside its borders, but it specifically incorporated the exclusion of Black people from its borders into its state constitution, which was finally repealed in the 1920s.
  • In this image from the mid-20th century, a Tuskegee patient is getting his blood taken.
  • There is a ban on black people entering the state, and any who do so—including the numerous former slaves who lack the financial means to flee—are murdered in weekly public rituals.
  • The plot of land, which is owned by a free Black man called John Valentine, is home to a thriving community of runaways and free Black people who appear to coexist harmoniously with white residents on the property.
  • An enraged mob of white strangers destroys the farm on the eve of a final debate between the two sides, destroying it and slaughtering innocent onlookers.
  • There is a region of blackness in this new condition.” Approximately 300 people were killed when white Tulsans demolished the thriving Black enclave of Greenwood in 1921.
  • Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons According to an article published earlier this year by Tim Madigan for Smithsonianmagazine, a similar series of events took place in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, which was known locally as “Black Wall Street,” in June 1921.
  • Madigan pointed out that the slaughter was far from an isolated incident: “In the years preceding up to 1921, white mobs murdered African Americans on hundreds of instances in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Duluth, Charleston, and other places,” according to the article.

In addition, Foner explains that “he’s presenting you the variety of options,” including “what freedom may actually entail, or are the constraints on freedom coming after slavery?” “It’s about. the legacy of slavery, and the way slavery has twisted the entire civilization,” says Foner of the film.

How doesThe Underground Railroadreflect the lived experience of slavery?

“How can I construct a psychologically plausible plantation?” Whitehead is said to have pondered himself while writing on the novel. According to theGuardian, the author decided to think about “people who have been tortured, brutalized, and dehumanized their whole lives” rather than depicting “a pop culture plantation where there’s one Uncle Tom and everyone is just incredibly nice to each other.” For the remainder of Whitehead’s statement, “Everyone will be battling for the one additional mouthful of food in the morning, fighting for the tiniest piece of property.” According to me, this makes sense: “If you put individuals together who have been raped and tortured, this is how they would behave.” Despite the fact that she was abandoned as a child by her mother, who appears to be the only enslaved person to successfully escape Ridgeway’s clutches, Cora lives in the Hob, a derelict building reserved for outcasts—”those who had been crippled by the overseers’ punishments,.

who had been broken by the labor in ways you could see and in ways you couldn’t see, who had lost their wits,” as Whitehead describes Cora is played by Mbedu (center).

With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima While attending a rare birthday party for an older enslaved man, Cora comes to the aid of an orphaned youngster who mistakenly spills some wine down the sleeve of their captor, prompting him to flee.

Cora agrees to accompany Caesar on his journey to freedom a few weeks later, having been driven beyond the threshold of endurance by her punishment and the bleakness of her ongoing life as a slave.

As a result, those who managed to flee faced the potential of severe punishment, he continues, “making it a perilous and risky option that individuals must choose with care.” By making Cora the central character of his novel, Whitehead addresses themes that especially plagued enslaved women, such as the fear of rape and the agony of carrying a child just to have the infant sold into captivity elsewhere.

The account of Cora’s sexual assault in the novel is heartbreakingly concise, with the words “The Hob ladies stitched her up” serving as the final word.

Although not every enslaved women was sexually assaulted or harassed, they were continuously under fear of being raped, mistreated, or harassed, according to the report.

With permission from Amazon Studios’ Atsushi Nishijima The novelist’s account of the Underground Railroad, according to Sinha, “gets to the core of how this venture was both tremendously courageous and terribly perilous.” She believes that conductors and runaways “may be deceived at any time, in situations that they had little control over.” Cora, on the other hand, succinctly captures the liminal state of escapees.

“What a world it is.

“Was she free of bondage or still caught in its web?” “Being free had nothing to do with shackles or how much room you had,” Cora says.

The location seemed enormous despite its diminutive size.

In his words, “If you have to talk about the penalty, I’d prefer to see it off-screen.” “It’s possible that I’ve been reading this for far too long, and as a result, I’m deeply wounded by it.

view of it is that it feels a little bit superfluous to me.

In his own words, “I recognized that my job was going to be coupling the brutality with its psychological effects—not shying away from the visual representation of these things, but focusing on what it meant to the people.” “Can you tell me how they’re fighting back?

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