The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Summary Study Guide

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Cora: Cora is a slave on a Georgia plantation who runs away. She is inspired by her mother Mabel who ran away, although perhaps she would have been less inspired if she knew that Mabel got eaten by a large snake in the swamp. This book follows Cora's adventures on the "underground railroad" as she goes from one safe house to another, eventually getting freed. Cora doesn't really have much of a personality besides hating and fearing white people.

Ridgeway: Ridgeway is the Boba Fett of this book. He's a bounty hunter. He's sent to track Cora down. He doesn't have any strong feelings for or against slavery, he's just doing a job. In fact, he frees a slave named Homer that he buys. But neither does he treat slaves very well, blowing one guy's brains out for talking too much.

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Terrance Randall: Terrance is Cora's "massa". He beats her cruelly and is Cora's incentive to flee. He also enjoys squeezing her breasts.

Homer: Homer is a slave who Ridgeway freed. But Homer really likes being Ridgeway's slave, to the point where Homer chains himself to Ridgeway's wagon every night. Do'h!

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