The Underground Railroad

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Connelly Character Analysis

Connelly is the white overseer on Randall plantation. He is selfish and cruel, taking various enslaved women as his "mistresses." For a while, he has a preference for Nag and gives her special privileges; however, Connelly eventually rejects her and sends their children to live on the other half of the plantation so he doesn't have to see them. Connelly's brutality is also revealed when he beats Chester to death for not working fast enough and when he gouges out the eyes of a slave for merely looking at words.
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Connelly Character Timeline in The Underground Railroad

The timeline below shows where the character Connelly appears in The Underground Railroad. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Georgia
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Value, Ownership, and Commodification Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
...boy called Chester, who is also a stray. He is already tall and strong, and Connelly, the overseer, has predicted he will grow up to be “a top picker.” Chester runs... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Value, Ownership, and Commodification Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
History, Myth, and Fantasy Theme Icon
...met. Cora thinks she must be 16 or 17. It has been one year since Connelly told her to “take a husband,” two since she was raped, and six since Mabel... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Value, Ownership, and Commodification Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
History, Myth, and Fantasy Theme Icon
...When Michael arrived on Randall, he had been mentally incapacitated by some unknown torture, and Connelly beat him to death. James is angry, saying he should have been informed of Michael’s... (full context)
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
...to her face were bad, the whipping she received the next day was much worse. Connelly has been at Randall a long time, and he was especially angered by what happened... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
History, Myth, and Fantasy Theme Icon
Before being placed in Hob, Nag was Connelly’s favorite, “spending most nights in his bed.” Nag was proud of her status as a... (full context)