Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Colson Whitehead and his three time award winer book “The Underground Railroad”, is an action-packed and exhilarating novel. Explaining the historical story of the Underground Railroad in a fictinal but acurate way.. The Underground Railroad was way for slaves become free in the 1800s by escaping with other blacks and whites that helped them. ‘The Underground Railroad’s’ became this extravagent and beutiful novel about slavery. It gives you a fantastic understanding of the horrific knowledge of the awful human cost of slavery.
‘The Underground Railroad’ entices you in Cora’s dreadful life story. Cora is sold to an evil plantation owner with no sympathy for his slaves. She is beaten and raped among other things. A man named Caesar offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse. He promised freedom and explained how they would reach it. ‘The world may be mean, but people don’t have to be, not if they refuse.’ So Cora runs away from the Georgia plantation, risking her intire life.. Cora and Caesar are hunted by bloodthirsty man named Ridgeway. Ridgeway was a renoun slave hunter and was positive he could catch them. Cora needs to travel her way from Georgia to Indiana across her story. Cora attempts to travel through south east america while avoiding ridgeway and other men coming after her. With the aid of a few committed black and white railroad workers willing to risk their lives to save Cora’s. She is brave, couragous, and wont let anybody or anything get in her way.
One of the main themes that appeared at the beginning of the book is ‘freedom or death.’ Across the entire plantation almost every slave, which includes Cora, has never experienced freedom. How the slaves were treated was so extensively intense that they couldn’t even imagine what a taste of freedom would entice. Cora does state that even the slaves that would never even think about running away and escaping, continue to dream about it however. ‘Every dream a dream of escape.’ On the other hand, Some slaves turn to religion or killing themselves their form of escape from their painful and terrifying reality. ‘White man trying to kill you slowly every day, and sometimes trying to kill you fast. Why make it easy for him? That was one kind of work you could say no to.’ Another prominent theme I noticed is that there is not even a spec of hope for some overthrow or rebellion. No matter what, either enslaved or free, African Americans will be bombarded with racism and racist acts against them. White supremacy always threw an idea of no hope, Even making a law where African Americans aren’t allowed to read or write. While considering running away, the final deal-breaker that leads Cora to her conclusion that she will run away is that she realizes running away would be her only spec of freedom she could ever get, if any. She just wanted the experience. To lower the hope of slaves even more so, public hangings are shown for any white person that shows sympathy for the enslaved.
In the book, Whitehead explains every scene and plot with extreme color. He entices you in the story making you always ask for more. There is this extreme realism inside of a fiction story that he has created. His writing brings across the horrific and disturbing tales of slavery across with immense and realistic power. The fear, The excitement, the sadness is all shown at such a fantastic level. However, in some parts of the book, especially the more middle chapters, it felt like a sort of a chore to read. All details were crucial, yet not engaging in any way. There was no exploration, and it felt like a dead-end for awhile. However, the pace was picked up after a while and had me more interested than ever. I loved how the book was shown through the perspective of multiple different characters. It gave you a good understanding of when and where everything was happening.