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Cora Character Map

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This is a character map that shows the relationship between Cora and the other characters in the novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  Please note that not all of the characters are included on the map because I chose to only include those that I felt were relevant to the overall story and journey of Cora. If you want to learn more about the overall story and if you want to learn more about the other characters click either one of these links can help with major plot points and timelines of the story. The characters that are related are connected with lines, and the solid lines represent strong connections while the dashed lines represent loose connections.  Descriptions of how the characters relate are placed along the line leading back to either Cora or another character.  I hope with either helps you better understand the novel or inspires you to read the book to learn more about the story. (Also, you may need to zoom in on your device to see the writing better.)


Thi…

Big News in the 50s

Humbert referenced some events that were happening in America during the 1950s throughout the story. Here are some of the stories or stories that apply to the novel Lolita. Flu Causing Schools to Close (1947) On page 40 in the novel, Humbert refers to a flu outbreak that was so bad that the local schools needed to be closed. This was one of the events that are noted in the book that is actually true. There was a big flu outbreak in 1947 that caused many schools to close until the sickness blew over.  Not all of the references found in Lolita are true events since Humbert has created his own reality in his mind. Readers can’t be sure which details are facts or make-believe until they research them.
Humbert’s suicide (1950s) The suicide rates for people in the 1950s is very similar to what the rate is for today (2016).  This shows that the suicide of Humbert wouldn’t have been shocking for readers or uncommon for the time.  It’s reasonable that Humbert would be thinking about suicide an…

Movies and TV in the 50s

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Movies and TV shows can be very influential towards young girl’s minds, so if Lolita saw any of these shows or movies while growing up, then she may have been swayed to think that her “relationship” with Humbert was normal.
“I Love Lucy” (1951-1957) produced by Desilu Productions (Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball) photo from https://ilovelucyandricky.fandom.com/wiki/%27%27I_Love_Lucy%27%27_series_cast       This show is supposed to be a picture-perfect family of a husband and wife highlighting their adventures being married. A show like this would be one that any girl would see and immediately want to have a relationship like the one portrayed in the show. Theoretically, Lolita could have seen this show and therefore thought that her relationship with Humbert was okay because she may have wanted a similar relationship to that which Lucy and Desi had on TV. She could also have felt similar to Lucy in that she would get into trouble or do troublesome things yet Humbert would bail her out or h…

Frank Sinatra's Songs Can Be Really Creepy

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One of the greatest artists of the 1950s was Frank Sinatra who mostly sang love songs. Usually, these would all be very sweet songs, but if you think about them as if you were Humbert, then they can easily be twisted into something more sinister.

“Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra (1957) This song is obviously an innocent love song about running away with your lover, but it can also be taken to be a bit creepy when you listen to it from Lolita’s or Humbert’s perspective. The lyrics are “Once I get you up there/I’ll be holding you so near/You might hear/ All the angels cheer because we’re together” which is normally quite sweet, but it’s reminiscent of how Humbert ran away with Lolita after her mother died. Humbert may have listened to this song and felt inspired to kidnap Lolita so they could be together forever. Though any normal person wouldn’t take this song like that, someone who clearly has mental issues can get this message out of the song. 






“I’ve got you under my skin” by Fran…

Who Said Intersectionality Was Simple?

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We all have that one friend who just needs to make you feel sorry for them because they think they have it worse than everyone else. Next time they start to guilt-trip you about their lives, send them a link to "Who Said It Was Simple" by Andre Lorde. Her poem is about how everyone experiences oppression differently.

Photo from https://agnesarnold-forster.com/2013/10/14/in-conversation-with-the-womens-liberation-a-review/

Originally, the feminist movement was about bringing justice only to white middle-class women.This movement was leaving out women of color and low-class women. The white middle-class women were so focused on their own abuse that they forgot that there are many other factors to oppression and that ignoring them is leaving out many women.
Intersectionality is an idea that race, gender, and class are all connected.People have layers to their mistreatment.Women can be persecuted not only for their gender but also for their race and socioeconomic class. White low-…

Anti-war Mentality Isn't Ending War

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After World War II, two major events happened in the United States.The first is that the US became a military superpower and the second is that people developed an anti-war response to this. The anti-war mentality was seen throughout American culture including the arts.Many poets started writing about war and how awful it is. The problem is, now that America is a military powerhouse, there’s no going back.
Despite the critiques that poets like Denise Levertov and Maxine Kumin wrote about war and war culture in "Life at War" and "Woodchucks", war is still very present in American society. As great as it would be for us to be able to rid our lives of war and simply have peace, it’s impossible because the US government makes a lot of moneyfrom the military and selling military goods. The government also pours a lot of money into the military to create new products to be sold.
Photo from https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/
With al…

STELLA!!!

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In A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, the main focus tends to be on the characters Stanley and Blanche, and not much gets said about Stella. Today, I want to discuss Stella’s character since she’s so underappreciated in most analyses.
Photo found at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/475059460667263213
Stella is the wife of Stanley and the sister of Blanche.I’ll give you a quick recap of her backstory.Stella grew up on a plantation and was raised, along with her sister, to be very proper and refined young ladies. She moved away from home to New Orleans and married Stanley. Now she is pregnant and her sister has to come to stay with her and her husband because she lost the family plantation after all their relatives died.
Now that you’re up to speed, let's focus more on Stella now that her sister is staying with her. From the start of the play, Stella was caught in the middle of her husband and her sister. Both Stanley and Blanche were manipulating her in different ways.Stanl…