The Underground Railroad

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Lovey is an enslaved woman living on Randall. She is the daughter of Jeer and a friend of Cora. She is kind and childlike and enjoys dancing at the celebrations on Randall. She secretly decides to join Cora and Caesar’s escape mission but she is captured early in the journey by hog hunters who return her to Randall, where she is killed by being impaled by a metal spike, her body left on display to discourage others who think of trying to escape.

Lovey Quotes in The Underground Railroad

The The Underground Railroad quotes below are all either spoken by Lovey or refer to Lovey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Doubleday edition of The Underground Railroad published in 2016.
Chapter 2: Georgia Quotes

Every slave thinks about it. In the morning and in the afternoon and in the night. Dreaming of it. Every dream a dream of escape even when it didn't look like it. When it was a dream of new shoes.

Related Characters: Cora (aka Bessie), Lovey
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:

Cora and Caesar set off at night, fleeing into the darkness, and they make it some distance before noticing that Lovey has been following them. Cora is surprised by this, as she doesn’t really think of Lovey as someone with a rebellious side. However, this quotation notes that “every slave thinks about it”—“it” meaning freedom—even if these thoughts are not conscious. Enslaved people thus have a paradoxical relationship to freedom. On one hand, the institution of slavery works to shut down the very notion of black freedom in people’s minds. However, as this quotation indicates, even those who have never personally known freedom—and who could never hope to—spend their lives fantasizing about it.

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Chapter 8: Tennessee Quotes

At the auction block they tallied the souls purchased at each auction, and on the plantations the overseers preserved the names of workers in rows of tight cursive. Every name an asset, breathing capital, profit made flesh. The peculiar institution made Cora into a maker of lists as well. In her inventory of loss people were not reduced to sums but multiplied by their kindnesses. People she had loved, people who had helped her. The Hob women, Lovey, Martin and Ethel, Fletcher. The ones who disappeared: Caesar and Sam and Lumbly.

Related Characters: Cora (aka Bessie), Caesar, Lovey, Fletcher, Lumbly, Sam, Martin Wells, Ethel Wells (née Delany)
Related Symbols: Hob
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

Cora has been captured by Ridgeway, and is now traveling alongside him and his associates, Homer and Boseman. The ride is long, giving Cora a lot of time to reflect. She thinks in lists, imagining an “inventory” of people she has met. This passage highlights the way in which slavery infects people’s minds, encouraging them to assign value to people as if they were objects. However, Cora distorts this way of thinking in a positive sense, turning it into a way of categorizing people’s kindness. During her time on the run, Cora has often been forced to say goodbye to people before she had a chance to develop a real friendship or fully express her gratitude for their assistance. However, she treasures their memories and honors the part they each played in attempting to transport her to freedom.

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Lovey Character Timeline in The Underground Railroad

The timeline below shows where the character Lovey 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
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
History, Myth, and Fantasy Theme Icon
...garden for the birthday feasts, but there is nothing in the soil today. Cora’s friend Lovey asks which day she would choose if she could pick her birthday. Lovey is a... (full context)
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
History, Myth, and Fantasy Theme Icon
...has spoken to her since she was moved to Hob. Wrestling matches take place, and Lovey comments that she would like to wrestle with a young man named Major. Following the... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Value, Ownership, and Commodification Theme Icon
...attempts to say goodbye without revealing that she is leaving by saying kind words to Lovey and having a final meal with the Hob women. Cora leaves behind her few small... (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
Cora and Caesar enter a swamp, and soon after they hear a voice—it is Lovey. She tells them she knew they were “up to something.” Caesar says that Fletcher won’t... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
Cora and Caesar confirm that neither of them mentioned the underground railroad to Lovey. They arrive at Fletcher’s house, and he explains that Jeer noticed Lovey was missing and... (full context)
Chapter 8: Tennessee
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
...will be returned to Randall. Ridgeway clearly dislikes Terrance, and tells Cora that he killed Lovey by hanging her from a metal hook through her ribs. Cora attempts to stifle a... (full context)
Family, Heritage, and Home Theme Icon
Endurance vs. Rebellion Theme Icon
Death and Freedom Theme Icon
Brutality and Violation Theme Icon
...him in the face three times, telling herself it is in honor of three murders: Lovey, Caesar, and Jasper. However, in reality they are all for Cora herself. (full context)