Who Was The Main Character In The Underground Railroad By Colson Whitehead? (Solved)

In Whitehead’s reimagined alternative history, the underground railroad is an actual train system, with locomotives and conductors. And the main character, Cora, is an escaped slave who sets out on an epic journey of survival and liberation.

Who is the main character in Underground Railroad?

The novel, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, chronicles Cora Randall’s journey to escape slavery. Randall, played by Thuso Mbedu, leaves the antebellum South in search of the Underground Railroad which, in Whitehead’s alternate timeline, is an actual railroad complete with conductors and engineers.

Who are the characters in Underground Railroad?

The Underground Railroad Characters

  • Cora (aka Bessie) Cora is the heroine of The Underground Railroad.
  • Caesar. Caesar is an enslaved man who lives on Randall and invites Cora to run away with him.
  • Ajarry. Ajarry is Cora’s grandmother and Mabel’s mother.
  • Mabel.
  • Lovey.
  • Terrance Randall.
  • James Randall.
  • Old Randall.

Who is the narrator in the Underground Railroad?

Whitehead’s book is narrated by a woman, Cora, a slave who escapes the terror of the plantation where she labors.

Who is Sam Underground Railroad?

Sam is a station agent who owns a saloon in South Carolina. He helps to arrange Cora and Caesar’s new identities and placement in the dormitories.

Who was Cora Randall?

Cora Einterz Randall is an atmospheric scientist known for her research on particles in the atmosphere, particularly in polar regions.

Who is Homer to 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.

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.

What perspective is the underground railroad written in?

Primarily, the story is told from the third person limited point of view – from the perspective of, and focusing on the experiences of, protagonist Cora.

What is the climax of the Underground Railroad?

Cora’s journey through the underground railroad tunnel is the climax of her fight for freedom —just as it seems to be impossible, she breaks out into the open air and has the good fortune to meet kind strangers.

What is the theme of the Underground Railroad?

Rebellion. All the black characters in the novel—whether enslaved or free—must constantly navigate an impossible choice between enduring the brutality of slavery and racism or risking everything in a (likely doomed) attempt to rebel.

Is Cora a real person in the Underground Railroad?

Cora in Amazon’s The Underground Railroad is played by South African actress Thuso Mbedu. Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu was born on 8 July 1991 in Pelham, the South African borough of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Mbedu was raised by her grandmother, who was her legal guardian after both of her parents died at an early age.

Who is Bessie Underground Railroad?

Cora is the heroine of The Underground Railroad. She was born on Randall plantation in Georgia to her mother Mabel, and she never knew her father, Grayson, who died before she was born. Her grandmother, Ajarry, was born in Africa before being kidnapped and brought to America.


He was born into slavery in Kentucky in the year 1815, and he was the son of a slave owner named Henry Bibb. After several failed efforts to emancipate himself from slavery, he maintained the strength and persistence to continue his struggle for freedom despite being captured and imprisoned multiple times. It was only through his determination that he was able to successfully escape to the northern states and then to Canada with the help of the Underground Railroad, a feat that had been highly anticipated.

For my own personal liberty, I made a decision somewhere during the autumn or winter of 1837 that I would try to flee to Canada if at all feasible.” Immediately after, I began preparing for the potentially lethal experiment of breading the chains that kept me a prisoner in my own home.

I also purchased a suit that I had never worn or been seen in before, in order to escape discovery.

It was the twenty-fifth of December, 1837.

  • My moral bravery was tested to the limit when I left my small family and tried to keep my emotions under wraps at all times.
  • No matter how many opportunities were presented to me to flee if I wanted to be free, and the call of liberty was booming in my own spirit, ‘Be free!
  • A thousand barriers had formed around my mind, attempting to bind my wounded spirit, which was still imprisoned in the dark dungeon of mental degradation.
  • It was difficult to break free from my deep bonds to friends and relatives, as well as the love of home and birthplace that is so natural among the human family, which were entwined around my heart and made it difficult to go forward.
  • But I’d calculated the cost and was completely prepared to make the sacrifice before I started the process.

If I don’t want to be a slave, I’ll have to abandon friends and neighbors, along with my wife and child.” I was given something to eat by these gracious folks, who then set me on my way to Canada on the advise of a buddy who had met me along the road.” This marked the beginning of the construction of what was referred to be the underground rail track from the United States to the Canadian continent.

In the morning, I walked with bold courage, trusting in the arm of Omnipotence; by night, I was guided by the unchangeable North Star, and inspired by the elevated thought that I was fleeing from a land of slavery and oppression, waving goodbye to handcuffs, whips, thumb-screws, and chains, and that I was on my way to freedom.

I continued my journey vigorously for nearly forty-eight hours without food or rest, battling against external difficulties that no one who has never experienced them can comprehend: not knowing when I might be captured while traveling among strangers, through cold and fear, braving the north winds while wearing only a thin layer of clothing, being pelted by snow storms through the dark hours of the night, and not being able to find a house in which to take shelter from the storm.” Among the countless accounts recorded by escaped slaves is this one, which is only one example.

Sojourner Truth, a former slave who became well-known for her efforts to bring slavery to an end, was another person who came from a slave background.

Green and many others, including Josiah Henson, authored autobiographies in which they described their own personal journeys.

The writing down of one’s experiences by so many escaped slaves may have been done in order to assist people better comprehend their struggles and tribulations; or it may have been done in order to help individuals learn from their mistakes in the aim of building a brighter future.


Caesar is an enslaved man who lives on Randall Street and has invited Corato to accompany him in his escape. Caesar, who was born in Virginia to Lily Jane and Jerome, has spent the most of his life in Virginia (owned by his parents). read the critique of Julius Caesar


Cora’s grandma and Mabel’s mother, Ajarry, are both deceased. The author’s character was born in Africa before being abducted and enslaved as a slave in America, where she is sold several times, leading her to feel she is “cursed.” … Ajarry’s analysis may be found here.


Cora’s grandma and Mabel’s mother, Ajarry, is the main character in the story. The author’s character was born in Africa before being abducted and exploited as a slave in America, where she is sold several times and learns to feel she is “cursed.” … delve into Ajarry’s analysis


Lovey is a lady who is chained and lives on Randall. The daughter of Jeer and a friend of Cora, she is a young woman with a bright future. She is kind and childish, and she adores dancing at the Randall Street festivals. She’s been doing it in the shadows. Lovey’s analysis may be found here.

Terrance Randall

Terrance Randall is one of two Randall brothers, each of whom has a half-interest in the Randall plantation. Terrance is a significantly more vicious individual than his brother, James, and prefers to torment and sexually abuse captive individuals on a regular basis. Terrance Randall’s analysis may be found here.

James Randall

T.R.Randall is one of the two Randall brothers, who are each in possession of a half-interest in the Randall plantation. Terrance is a lot more vicious individual than his brother, James, and prefers to torment and sexually abuse captive individuals on a regular basis. Terrance Randall’s critique is available here.

Old Randall

Mr. Randall is the grandfather of James and Terrance, as well as the former owner of Randall Plantation. Ridgeway feels that he was more popular in the local white community than either of his sons, who he believes have been corrupted. Old Randall’s analysis may be found here.


Chester is a little child who lives on Randall Street with his family. Cora takes a fancy to him since he, like her, is a “stray” and she can relate to that (an orphan). During Terrance’s forced dance with the enslaved populace, Chester makes an unintentional knock on the door. Chester’s analysis may be found here.

Arnold Ridgeway

A small child named Chester lives on Randall with his mother and father. For the same reason that she does, Cora develops a fancy to him (an orphan). During Terrance’s forced dance with the enslaved populace, Chester makes an unintentional knock on the door. examine Chester’s analysis


Sam is a station agent who also happens to be the owner of a tavern in South Carolina. He assists in the preparation of Cora and Caesar’s new identities as well as their installation in the dorms. He is kind and committed to his job for. Sam’s analysis may be found here.

Miss Lucy

Miss Lucy works as a proctor in the state of South Carolina.

Even though she has a “severe aspect,” Cora eventually begins to like her—at least until Cora finds the actual aim of the medical “therapy” that the dormitory is undergoing. Miss Lucy’s analysis may be found here.

Mr. Field

In South Carolina, Mr. Field works as the “Curator of Living History” at a museum, where he uses Cora, Isis, and Bettyas “types.” He is a generally fair and considerate boss, yet he is not without faults. Mr. Field’s analysis may be found here.

Dr. Aloysius Stevens

He is the “Curator of Living History” at the museum in South Carolina and hires “types” such as Cora, Isis, and Betty as part of his staff. The boss is fair and considerate, yet he is not without his flaws. review of Mr. Field’s analysis

Martin Wells

Located in North Carolina, Martin Wells works as a station agent for the subterranean train system. His father, Donald, introduced him to anti-slavery activism, and he got committed. He is married to Etheland, and he keeps Corain in his attic. Martin Wells’s analysis may be found here.

Ethel Wells (née Delany)

Martin’s wife, Ethel Wells, is also the mother of their daughter, who is named Ethel. She was close friends with an enslaved girl named Jasmine when she was a youngster, and she had aspirations of becoming a missionary. There are suggestions that she may be a. Ethel Wells (née Delany) was the subject of a detailed examination.


Mrs. Martin and the mother of their daughter, Ethel Wells, are both married to Martin. She was close friends with an enslaved girl named Jasmine when she was a youngster, and she had aspirations of becoming a missionary when she was a teenager. There are clues that she may be involved. Ethel Wells (née Delany) was the subject of an analysis.

See also:  Who Found The Underground Railroad? (Correct answer)


Ridgeway’s gang recruits Homer, a young black boy, to be a member of their organization. Ridgeway bought Homer for $5 before granting him his freedom, but Homer prefers to remain with Ridgeway and even willingly shackles himself to the fence to keep Ridgeway company. Homer’s analysis may be found here.


Boseman is a collaborator in Ridgeway’s criminal enterprise. The necklace, made of withered ears, was given to him by a Native American man as a prize for winning a wrestling match. He is portrayed as being stupid and more naive than the rest of the group. Boseman’s analysis is available online.

John Valentine

In the case of Ridgeway, Boseman works as an accomplice. He wears a necklace made of withered ears that he won in a wrestling match from a Native American guy. He is portrayed as being stupid and more naive than the rest of the characters. to read the Boseman’s analysis

Gloria Valentine

Her husband, John, is the father of their five children, and Gloria is his wife. Before they were married, John secretly purchased Gloria’s freedom. She is a refined lady who makes an effort to keep her remarks to a minimum. Gloria Valentine’s analysis may be found here.

Elijah Lander

He is a well-educated and renowned biracial guy who travels the country making political lectures to audiences of all backgrounds. Just before Valentine Farm is destroyed, he delivers an eloquent address in which he calls for racial brotherhood as well as the quest of liberty. Unlike… Elijah Lander’s analysis may be found here.


Royal is a freeborn black man who saves Cora from the clutches of Ridgeway.

A positive personality, Royal is devoted to the quest of freedom, not only for himself but for the whole African-American community. He has a certain allure. check out the Royal’s analysis


Connelly is the white overseer of the Randall farm, and he is a gentleman. He is self-centered and nasty, taking advantage of many chained women to serve as his “mistresses.” In the beginning, he shows a liking for Nagand accords her particular treatment; nevertheless, after a few months. Connelly’s analysis may be found here. Characters that play a supporting role Jockey Jockey is the most senior enslaved person still alive on Randall’s plantation. He claims to be 101 years old, despite the fact that he is just approximately 50 years old.

  1. Blake Blake is an enslaved guy who lives on Randall Island.
  2. As a result, he chooses to put his dog in Cora’s garden, where he constructs an extravagant doghouse, which Cora promptly ruins in order to preserve her territory.
  3. Alice Alice is an enslaved woman who works as a chef on the Randall farm in the American Civil War.
  4. She has a negative attitude toward Cora since Cora resides in Hob.
  5. He was feeble as a youngster, but once his mother is sold, he develops into a swift and talented laborer as a result.
  6. Michael Michael is an enslaved youngster who, before to being purchased by James Randall, was held by a man who taught him how to recite the Declaration of Independence.
  7. Despite being an ineffective worker, Connelly puts him to death with a sledgehammer.

Anthony the Giant Big Anthony is an enslaved guy who escapes from Randall, only to be apprehended and imprisoned in an iron cage by the authorities.



She tells Caesar and his family that they would be freed upon her death, but she fails to include this provision in her will, resulting in Caesar and his family being separated and sold to a slave trader in the south.

Cora and Caesaron are transported to the first part of their trip to freedom by him.

JeerJeer is the mother of Lovey.

She unwittingly tells the superiors on Randall about Lovey, Cora, and Caesar’s absence, which they fail to recognize.

Cora and Caesart are brought to the station, which is located beneath Lumbly’s property by Fletcher.

is a senior citizen of the United States.

is the father of Arnold Ridgeway.



In the Griffin Building, he is responsible for cotton contracts.

Anderson, thank you for your service.

Anderson is Mr.

Anderson’s children.

Miss Handler is a young woman who has a bright future ahead of her.

Cora leaves her courses feeling humiliated about her lack of knowledge, but she finds her teacher to be kind and supportive.

Campbell is a physician who practices in the United States.

Campbell is the first doctor to examine Corain.

Along with Isis and Cora, BettyBetty is the second young black woman that works in the museum with them.

Cora has a sneaking suspicion that she and Caesar are dating.

Carpenter Carpenter works as a professional corpse snatcher in Boston, delivering bodies to Dr.

Engineer in his twenties It is unknown who the young engineer is, but he is responsible for transporting Cora from South Carolina to North Carolina through the underground railroad.

He has a problem with alcohol.

RichardRichard is a young patroller in North Carolina who comes into Louisahiding in the helm of a ship while on a routine patrol.

She is brutally beaten and lynched in front of everyone.

Martin’s paternal grandfather is Donald Wells.

When he died, he left his underground railroad job to his son, who carried on the tradition.

When they are younger, she and Ethel are closest friends, but when Edgar comes around, Ethel is forbidden from playing with her anymore.

Felice Felice is the mother of Jasmine.

Edgar Delany is a fictional character created by author Edgar Delany.

While sexually assaulting Jasmine, he is a vociferous racist who forbids Ethel from playing with Jasmine in order to preserve the hierarchy of races, while at the same time sexually abusing her himself.

Until Mrs.

Jerome Jerome is the spouse of Lily Jane and the father of Caesar.

Garnerdies, he is separated from his family and sold as a separate item.

Jasper continues to sing hymns incessantly, and Ridgway ultimately shoots him out of frustration.

Georgina Georgina is a young black lady from Delaware who works as a Valentine’s Day teacher in Cora’s class.

They do, however, quickly form a tight bond after that.

She and her mother, Sybil, live in the same cabin as Cora.

Sybil Sybil is a black woman who lives with her daughter, Molly, on the island of Valentine.

With an anonymous boyfriend who crafts her a rocking chair and a dislike for the accolades bestowed on Mingo, Sybil is self-assured and outspoken.

In the community, many people appreciate him for having purchased his own freedom, as well as the freedom of his family; yet, he also pushes views about racial uplift that are unpopular with the majority of people.

He is troubled by the sight of the Royals engaging in combat.

It is a black guy named RedRed, who was hung in North Carolina together with his wife and kid.

When they rescue Cora, he joins the group led byRoyalandJustin.

He provides her with food, and the tale comes to a close when he and Cora agree to share their memories with the reader.

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On Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad : Character Analysis of Cora

Ajarry Cora’s grandmother, who was stolen from Africa and sold as a slave in the American South, finally arriving at the Randall farm, is the subject of this story. Mabel Cora’s mother, who abandoned her daughter when she was 10 or 11 years old and fled to another country. Mabel was never apprehended, leading everyone to believe that she had successfully crossed the border into Canada. In truth, though, she had a change of heart only a few hours after leaving the plantation and attempted to return to the grounds.

  1. JamesJockey is an old slave who says that it is his birthday on a regular basis.
  2. Lovey Lovey is a little slave girl who is one of Cora’s closest companions on the Randall farm.
  3. When the three is ambushed, Lovey is apprehended and taken back to the Randall plantation, where she is murdered.
  4. James Randall is a professional baseball player.
  5. Due to kidney disease, he passes away, leaving Terrance with his half of the plantation.
  6. Terrance inherits half of the Randall plantation after his father’s death, and when James Randall dies, Terrance becomes the only heir.
  7. Following Cora’s escape, he becomes obsessed with apprehending her.

An Irishman named Connelly is in charge of the Randall plantation, and he takes pleasure in locating “mistresses” among the young slave ladies.

Chester In the course of dancing, Chester, a young slave on the Randall farm, accidently stumbles into Terrance Randall and is punished as a result of it.

Anthony the Giant Big Anthony, a slave who tries to flee the Randall farm after James’s death, is apprehended, tortured, and then burnt alive in front of an audience of witnesses.

Garner, a widow from Virginia, was Caesar’s first owner and was responsible for teaching him to read.

Fletcher, thank you for your time.

He then transports them to the next stop on the subterranean railroad.

Originally from South Carolina, Sam is a station agent for the underground railroad who also works as a bartender.

Sam continues to work on the underground railroad, and he finally reunites with Cora on the Valentine farm, where they were previously separated.

Cora’s instructor at the South Carolina school for colored women, where she is pursuing her degree, is Miss Handler.

Fields Cora’s supervisor.

Aloysius Stevens collaborated with a group of grave robbers to provide cadavers to the university’s medical school.

Stevens is a South Carolina doctor who tries to persuade Cora to undergo voluntary sterilization.

Martin, a reluctant station agent for the underground railroad in North Carolina, keeps Cora in his attic for months until she is discovered by a member of the railroad.

Ethel Wells was a woman who lived in the United States.

Ethel had a childhood desire of going to Africa as a missionary.

Jamison is a North Carolina town official that is in charge of public executions.

Jasmine is a young slave who was Ethel’s childhood companion when she was younger.

Boseman is a slave hunter who collaborates with Ridgeway until he is killed by Red, one of Royal’s comrades.

Ridgeway purchased him and promptly released him, but Homer is adamant in his refusal to leave Ridgeway.

Red When Royal rescues Cora, he is accompanied by another someone who fires a shot at Boseman.

Georgina is a schoolteacher who works at the Valentine agribusiness.

Jimmy is an escaped slave who lives on the Valentine farm with his family.

Sybil Molly’s mother and Cora’s cabinmate John Valentine, a light-skinned Ethiopian who is an abolitionist and the proprietor of the Valentine farm, was born in the United States.


Elijah Lander’s full name is Elijah Lander.

While he is giving a speech at the Valentine farm, he is shot and killed by an enraged white crowd.

The farm, he fears, is becoming too dangerous and insulting to white people, and he opposes the acceptance of fugitives like Cora into the community.

Cora is offered a ride by Ollie, an elderly black man headed to St. Louis and subsequently to California, after she emerges from her final station on the Underground Railroad.

The Underground Railroad Characters

Cora, the heroine of The Underground Railroad, is a perceptive, bright, and driven lady who has a strong sense of self. The book is mostly told from her point of view, as she flees her existence as a slave on a Georgia farm and travels on the Underground Railroad through various states until reaching freedom in the United States. She is abandoned by her mother, Mabel, when she is a small child, and she eventually wanders away. The caretaking of her mother’s garden plot provides Cora with peace, despite the fact that she has been demoted to the status of an outcast among her fellow slaves.

  1. She works as a nanny to white children in the beginning, and then as a live model for historical displays at a museum later on.
  2. Ridgeway finally apprehends her in that location, and the two of them journey through Tennessee together.
  3. Later, the farm is destroyed by white settlers in an act of racist hatred, and Ridgeway is reunited with Cora.
  4. When she decides to join a caravan headed to California, her narrative comes to an ambiguously positive conclusion.
  5. He eventually finds himself in Georgia at the Randall farm.
  6. Ajarry gives birth to five children, all of whom die, with the exception of one, Mabel, who lives to adulthood.
  7. Her life has been characterized by slavery, and she dies as a result of an aneurysm while working in the cotton fields.
See also:  What Was Penalty For Being Conductor On Underground Railroad? (Suits you)

Mabel is the only one of Ajarry’s five children to live past the age of ten.

When she is fourteen, she falls in love with another slave, Grayson, who becomes the father of Cora and dies shortly after due to a disease.

She ultimately decides to return to the plantation since she sees that Cora requires her assistance.

Because no one has discovered her body, the other characters think she has successfully escaped.

Cesar was born as a slave on a tiny farm in Virginia, owned by a widow called Mrs.

The old woman has taught her slaves to read and write, and she has promised to release Caesar and his parents, Lily Jane and Jerome, if they do not rebel against her authority.

Garner’s death, with Caesar being sold to Randall Plantation.

He makes the decision to flee and persuades Cora to join him in his journey.

She is on the fence about his approaches, but Ridgeway discovers them before she has a chance to make up her decision about them.

Lovey is Cora’s best friend on the Randall plantation, and she enjoys dancing and celebrating the simple, modest pleasures of plantation life with her.

When Cora hears of Lovey’s fate at the conclusion of the story, she is horrified: she was impaled on a spike and her body was exhibited as a warning to other slaves on Randall after she was seized.

He attempts to take over Cora’s garden plot in order to provide a home for his dog.

Jockey, the Randall plantation’s oldest slave, is known for announcing the date of his birthday whenever he feels like it.

Chester is a small child on the Randall plantation who finds himself alone when both of his parents are sold.

A drop of wine unintentionally drips down Terrance Randall’s shirt, causing Terrance to lose his cool and get enraged.

He is one of Old Randall’s two sons, and after his father’s death, he and his brother James take over administration of the plantation together.

As a ruthless and despotic master, he subjected his slaves to brutal and inhumane punishments and humiliation.

In a brothel in New Orleans, near the climax of the tale, his heart gives out completely.

Slave feast days and infrequent festivities are permitted by the plantation’s owner, who is satisfied with the plantation’s consistent and reliable revenues.

Connolly, a nasty overseer on the Randall farm, was hired by the original Randall to do his dirty work.

He is a white guy who lives in Georgia and runs a station on the Underground Railroad, which he founded.

Eventually, Ridgeway is able to get a confession out of him.

Slave-catcher Ridgeway believes in the ideas of a violent, white nationalist America and is well-known and feared for his actions.

Ridgeway was unable to locate Mabel when she went away, and as a result, he becomes obsessed with locating and recapturing her daughter Cora.

Cora inflicts a fatal wound on him in the last pages of the story when she pushes him down the steps of the Underground Railroad station in Tennessee.

A necklace of ears that he received as prize in a wrestling battle from a Native American guy named Strong, and he is fearful of dangerous diseases because his siblings perished as a result of yellow fever.

When Royal and other Railroad agents rescue Cora from Ridgeway’s wagon in Tennessee, he is shot and killed by the other agents.

He and Cora are shackled to the back of Ridgeway’s wagon as they journey through Tennessee on their way back to their lords’ estate.

Homer is a ten-year-old black child who pulls Ridgeway’s wagon and keeps track of his paperwork.

In Homer’s eyes, he is little more than a mystery; he wears a black suit and cap and appears unconcerned about the prejudice and brutality propagated by his employer.

He is also working at a whites-only tavern in the area.

When Ridgeway discovers Cora and Caesar in North Carolina, Sam’s house is completely destroyed by flames.

He intends to travel to California, which is located in the west.

In the end, Cora comes to the conclusion that Miss Lucy is most likely a member of the state’s regime of eugenics and forced sterilization, which is intended to keep the black population under control.

During his college years, he supported himself by working as a corpse snatcher, robbing people’s remains from their graves and reselling them on the black market for dissection and the study of anatomy.

Martin, a North Carolina station agent, conceals Cora in his house despite the fact that she is in danger.

Cora and Martin communicate frequently while she is hidden in Martin’s attic, and he provides her with almanacs to peruse.

Martin’s wife was born into a rich family in Virginia.

She hesitantly invites Cora into her house in North Carolina, fearing that she may be apprehended by the authorities.

Despite the fact that it is never explicitly stated, the text implies that Ethel is a lesbian.

Royal is a freeborn black guy who began working for the Underground Railroad in New York City when he was just a child of slave parents.

In Tennessee, while on a job for the Railroad, Royal and a small group of other agents are tasked with rescuing Cora from Ridgeway.

Cora is hesitant at first, but she ultimately opens up to Royal and he becomes the first person in her life who she genuinely loves and can confide in.

When Ridgeway and the white mob storm the Valentine farm, Royal is shot and dies in Cora’s arms as a result of the attack.

John is a white-passing person with pale complexion.

He bought her freedom, and they were married a short time later.

Indiana was the first state where corn was planted.

Cora is recuperating at this location following Royal’s rescue of her from Ridgeway.

Sybil and Molly, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter, are runaway slaves who have escaped from their masters.

The three of them are really close and friendly with one another.

While still a slave, he rented himself out to his owner on weekends in order to earn money, and finally bought the freedom of his entire family with the money he earned.

Lander, a free black man, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a wealthy white lawyer and his black wife.

Following his studies, he went on to become an orator for the abolitionist movement.

In the novel, he is the final person Cora encounters on her voyage, and he is a compassionate black guy who is traveling as part of a mixed-race caravan that is headed west.

Cora comes upon him when she escapes the Valentine farm in Indiana via the Underground Railroad and arrives in New York City. Cora accepts Ollie’s offer of food and a trip to St. Louis, and then on to California, and the tale comes to a close with her acceptance.

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.

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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. A limited drama series based on the novel The Underground Railroad, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, was announced in March 2017 for Amazon Prime Video. May 14, 2021 marked the day when the series was made available on Amazon Prime Video.

The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead Character Analysis – Studypool

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Cora is the protagonist of the novel The Underground Railroad. Born on Randall Plantation in Georgia to her mother Mabel, she had no knowledge of her father Grayson since he died before she was born. She never met her father, who died before she was born. ‘Ajarry,’ her grandmother, was born in Africa before being abducted and taken to the United States of America. Despite her young age, Cora is courageous and determined; the narrator argues that she received her ability to withstand hurdles and violence from Ajarry, as well as her tenacious instinct for resistance from Mabel.

  • It is only after she has experienced freedom for herself, and after she has survived multiple near-escapes in which her companions such as Caesar and Lovey are imprisoned and slain, that Cora becomes fearlessly committed to the quest of a free life in the northern hemisphere.
  • A love relationship with Royal develops at the conclusion of the novel while she’s in Indiana; however, the relationship is cut short when Royal is slain by Ridgeway.
  • Caesar is an enslaved guy who lives on Randall and who urges Cora to join him in his escape from slavery.
  • Garner’s property), before being moved south and eventually ending up on Randall.
  • Nevertheless, when Ridgeway finds that Caesar and Cora are posing as a couple in the building, Caesar is arrested and subsequently slain by a crowd that bursts into the prison and cuts his body to pieces.
  • The author’s character was born in Africa before being abducted and enslaved as a slave in America, where she is sold several times, leading her to feel she is “cursed.” Three spouses and five children have been born to her, with Mabel being the only one who has lived to adulthood.
  • After suffering a brain hemorrhage while laboring on the field, she becomes the first owner of the garden, and she passes away on Randall.

She is the daughter of Ajarry.

Mabel, on the other hand, never mentions Grayson’s name again until he passes away from a fever before Cora is born.

Angry with her mother for what she considers to be her selfishness, Cora is enraged that Mabel failed to say goodbye to her.

She, on the other hand, barely made it a few kilometers before succumbing to a snake bite.

She is the daughter of Jeer and a friend of Cora’s who lives in the same house.

After making a covert decision to join Cora and Caesar’s escape operation, she is apprehended early in the voyage by hog hunters who bring her to Randall, where she is executed by being impaled by a metal spike and her body is set on display to prevent others from attempting to flee.

In comparison to his brother, Terrance is significantly more vicious, routinely torturing and sexually abusing those who are enslaved.

Terrance dies of heart failure in a New Orleans brothel some months after Cora manages to get away from Randall.

Terrance’s brother, James, is one of Old Randall’s two sons and the younger brother of Terrance.

The rumor mill says he prefers sexual masochism and that he employs prostitutes to whip him in New Orleans, which is where he was born.

Old Randall is the father of James and Terrance Randall and the previous owner of Randall Plantation.

The white society in which he lived saw him as more popular than either of his sons, whom Ridgeway feels were corrupted by the fact that they were born into such wealth.

Chester is a little child who lives on Randall Street with his family.

The enslaved populace is forced to dance by Terrance, and Chester accidently spills Terrance’s wine on his shirt, resulting in both Chester (and Cora, who defends him) being mercilessly beaten.

Mountain Ridgeway is the son of a blacksmith named Ridgeway Sr., who goes on to become a well-known slave collector in his later years.

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.

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 popular misconceptions about the country and its past.

Sam is a station agent who also happens to be the owner of a tavern in South Carolina.

He is compassionate and loyal to his job for the underground railroad, despite the fact that he has a naive confidence in the racial progressiveness of South Carolina that proves to be deadly.

Miss Lucy works as a proctor in the state of South Carolina.

However, despite Miss Lucy’s assertions that she is dedicated to aiding black people, she is only too pleased to cooperate with Fugitive Slave Laws, which require her to give over any black dormitory occupants who are discovered to be runaways.

Field is the “Curator of Living History” at the facility.

It is because of this misinterpretation that Mr.

Cora is examined by Dr.

Prior to his job in South Carolina, he was a medical student in Boston, where he was part in the “body trade,” which involves snatching bodies for the sake of scientific study.

Despite the fact that he criticizes racism and even feels a sense of empathy with black people, he never expresses this sentiment out.

Located in North Carolina, Martin Wells works as a station agent for the subterranean train system.

He is married to Ethel and has a cat named Cora that lives in his attic.

Cora is discovered and he is stoned to death by his town’s residents after being discovered.

She was close friends with an enslaved girl named Jasmine when she was a youngster, and she had aspirations of becoming a missionary.

She first greets Cora in a nasty and antagonistic manner, but when Cora falls ill, she adopts a more compassionate demeanor, overjoyed by the opportunity to indulge her religious and romantic fantasies on the helpless and helpless Cora.

A young Irish lady named Fiona is engaged as a servant by Martin and Ethel, who are both of Irish descent.

But she appears to take extreme pleasure in the chance to snitch, yelling with ecstasy as Cora is dragged out of the house.

Homer decides to remain with Ridgeway despite the fact that he was purchased for $5 before being granted his freedom.

For some reason, Cora is perplexed by Homer, who exhibits no sense of solidarity with other black people and instead prefers to follow Ridgway around, observing him apprehend and murder runaways with brutality and abandon.

Ridgeway’s accomplice, Boseman, is a member of the organization.

He is regarded as being uneducated, as well as being more nave and romantic than Ridgway, among other things.

John Valentine is the proprietor of Valentine Farm and the spouse of Gloria Valentine.

In the aftermath of fleeing with his family from the Deep South, John dedicates his life to assisting other black people, assuring Cora, “White guy ain’t going to do it.” “We’ll have to do it on our own.” Following the destruction of his farm, John and his family go to Oklahoma to start a new life.

She is a refined lady who makes an effort to avoid using “plantation inflections” in her speech.

He is a well-educated and renowned biracial guy who travels the country making political lectures to audiences of all backgrounds.

The notion that black people should promote racial uplift by associating with those whom white society considers to be the weak links of the black community, such as runaways, drunks, and “criminals,” is rejected by Lander in stark contrast to Mingo’s position.

Royal is a freeborn black guy who comes to Cora’s aid after she is kidnapped by Ridgeway.

Despite the fact that he is handsome and appealing, the narrator observes that many people are drawn to him by his “foreign” manner.

His life is taken by a fatal gunshot when the Valentine farm is destroyed, and he passes away in Cora’s arms.

He is self-centered and nasty, taking advantage of many chained women to serve as his “mistresses.” Initially, he shows preference for Nag and accords her special treatment; however, he soon rejects her and sends their children to live on the other side of the estate so that he will not have to see them again.

It is also revealed that Connelly is a violent individual when he beats Chester to death for failing to work quickly enough and when he gouges out the eyes of a slave for just glancing at words.

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