The Underground Railroad (novel) Summary
Colson Whitehead

Everything you need to understand or teach The Underground Railroad (novel) by Colson Whitehead.

  • The Underground Railroad (novel) Summary & Study Guide

The Underground Railroad (novel) Overview

This novel tells a story based in history (i.e. the existence of the so-called “underground railroad”, which helped African-American slaves escape into freedom) and adds a layer of fictionalization (i.e. the portrayal of that railroad as an actual physical, constructed object, as opposed to simply a network of homes or other safe places). As the narrative conducts readers through the events and circumstances of one slave’s harrowing journey into a new life, and in addition to exploring physical, emotional, and spiritual issues related to such journeys, it also explores themes related to the power and influence of memory, and the nature and value of being a “stray.”

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