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The Underground Railroad (novel) Themes & Motifs

Colson Whitehead
This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Underground Railroad.
This section contains 1,968 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
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Journeys to Freedom

Cora’s physical journey from enslavement to liberty is the primary example of the book’s main theme of a journey to freedom; Cora’s journey is physical, emotional, and mental.

Each stage of that journey – on foot, via train and wagon, simultaneously running away and running toward – takes her closer to the realization of true freedom. Here it is important to note that for almost all of the book, what Cora thinks is freedom is, in fact, an illusion. This is true of the small, limited freedom (associated with what she thinks of as her plot of land) that she feels on the Randall plantation; of her movement forward into what looks like freedom but which is, in fact, almost as limited as the overt slavery she left behind in South Carolina; of her movement into a freedom in North Carolina that looks...

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This section contains 1,968 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Underground Railroad (novel) Study Guide
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