The Underground Railroad



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The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead

Set in the 19th century, this novel tells the story of two slaves, Cora and Caesar, forced into labour on a plantation in Georgia. Desperate to escape their inhumane living conditions, they follow the Underground Railroad, a railroad transport system complete with secret routes and safe houses. They are hunted by a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who tracks them to North Carolina. Upon repeated capture, their journey comes to a tragic ending with a spark of hope.

Due to its alternate history approach, students can compare the novel to historical non-fiction articles, for example in excerpts. Lessons could also include clips from the TV series, comparing the novel to the adaptation. The novel allows students access to historical context surrounding slavery in America.

· · 2017

Critical edition

Whitehead, Colson. Underground Railroad. Fleet, 2017. 400 pp., ISBN 9780708898406

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In favour of this entry

  • Addresses current affairs
  • Award-winning
  • Explores historical contexts