Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
The Underground Railroad
A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's desperate bid for...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

Created: 10/27/16

Replies: 10

Posted Oct. 27, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

Expert

Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?


Posted Oct. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bestmartin's Gravatar
bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

Of course I would say Cora since it was really her story and I felt I walked beside her through her journey. However, in terms of personality and how I would react (I think!). I was more aligned with Caesar. He seemed to be brave, determined, and yet upbeat.


Posted Nov. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KateB

Join Date: 02/11/16

Posts: 53

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

Reading the story, you root for Cora and all the other other slaves. I particularly thought Lovey was a likeable character and found what happened to her very chilling. I also found the section with Ethel interesting. She was far from likable but I felt she was very credible. Like so many people, she was not good or bad - mainly selfish.


Posted Nov. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

I'm not sure "connect" is the right word, because my experiences as a white woman are so different than Cora's, but I could identify with her yearning for dignity, for a feeling of being safe and at home in the world, and with her thirst for knowledge and her reflections. I'd like to think I would be a fierce and brave too! I liked that about her, not only that she fought for herself, but for Chester. She is obviously the one character we are all meant to identify with -- not just because she is in terms of plot the main character. I think she represents a universal character, struggling for identity and freedom, and especially to understand the world. This whole book felt like an allegory to me, with Cora representing her whole race in its struggles to endure slavery, escape slavery, and move beyond that to a full life.


Posted Nov. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 73

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

JLPen I so agree with you, and move beyond a step. As a woman who worked in business in the late sixties, I think Cora further represents all women and the search for identity and a place in the world. The book then becomes way bigger than the history of slavery and the rise of a race... it is a story about humanity and a woman's place in it. Do you think that is reaching? Or can you see threads of truth here? I am interested in the opinion of others......


Posted Nov. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 130

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

barbm,
I like your idea. I think it's beautiful that we can find ourselves and all women in Cora, transcending race. That to me is a mark of the author's greatness in this novel. He wants us to identify as women, and as human beings, regardless of our race. (Or gender. For a man to identify with Cora as representing the human spirit, is to see that women like men have a human need to shape their own lives.) I was around in the late 60s too, angrily awakening to the whole history of sexism-- I agree, any woman who has experienced the barriers that we are still coping with can identify with Cora... and I see her hesitancy to express her feelings for Caesar, or Royal, her fear of commitment, as the result of her fierce need to know herself and find her own place in the world, so that is evidence to me that you've plucked some threads of truth! Though I think given the overall focus on race, that was his primary focus, his choice to make Cora the kind of character that she is, and the protagonist, is to include "all humanity and a woman's place in it." Thank you!


Posted Nov. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
clapshot

Join Date: 11/05/16

Posts: 3

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

I connect with Mabel, Cora's mother. Whitehead forces readers to see her through Cora's eyes until the very end. Only then do we realize what has happened to Mabel. In that short chapter, readers are inside Mabel's mind as she runs and perishes. She questions what she has decided to do. In this way, she becomes something like EVERYMOTHER--always asking did I do the right thing or what should I have done differently.


Posted Nov. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 35

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

I was rooting for Cora throughout the book, so I connected with her in that way. But I think I see more of myself in Ethel. Not so much in the desire to do missionary work (though why she would want to go convert Africans in Africa while ignoring the mission field around her puzzles me), but in the hesitance to actually help. I get the feeling that she wanted to do good, but she was too scared, both for her life (which turned out to be a totally reasonable fear) and for what others would think of her. Sometimes it's just easier to keep your head down and just keep plugging along when something doesn't see to impact you directly.


Posted Nov. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyl

Join Date: 04/15/12

Posts: 80

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

I connected most with Cora. I wanted her to escape. I admired her bravery and determination. I found the way she protected her mother's private space poignant and symbolic. It's what made her different from the other slaves and gave her dignity when every moment the slaveholders' goal was to destroy her humanity.


Posted Nov. 22, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

I actually loved Cora and could identify with her reactions, instincts and experience through Whitehead's description of her journey. I felt that her story was relatable, one of the best on slavery I have ever read.


Posted Nov. 22, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: Who do you connect with most in the novel and why?

Cora - she is the story - it is through her we experience this journey through slavery & the Underground Railroad. It is through her we meet all the other characters -- good & evil. It is through her we see the various states & their response to slavery. We experience fear, love, loneliness, abandonment, betrayal, hope, pain...through her. She is a mirror for us to see today's ill-will.


Reply

Please login to post a response.