The Underground Railroad

by

Colson Whitehead

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Underground Railroad can help.

The Underground Railroad Symbols

Cora’s Garden

The garden is a small patch of land on Randall, just three yards squared, on which Cora grows vegetables. The garden was passed down from Ajarry to Mabel, and—when Mabel ran away—to Cora. The…

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Dance

In the novel, dance is shown to be both a source of joy and of suffering. Dance has an important history within African-American communities; under slavery, it was a way of connecting back to cultural…

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Hob

When Mabel runs away, Cora becomes a “stray” and is placed in Hob, the cabin for exiled women on Randall. Although the other people living on Randall believe that all Hob women are insane, the…

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Griffin Building

The Griffin Building is a 12-story building in the unnamed town in South Carolina where Cora lives in the dormitories. It is the tallest building Cora has ever seen, and one of the tallest in…

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The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is an endless row of lynched black bodies in North Carolina, left out on display to warn black people against rebellion. The bodies are mutilated and rotting, and the Freedom Trail thus…

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