rhetoric analysis

The essay is a review of Colson Whitehead’s novel, The Underground Railroad (2016)
I will post my professor’s comment below.

This draft is a bit confusing. I think you may be misreading some of the scenes in the novel as all being relevant to the 1850s (the time period when the novel is set). As I’ve said in my lectures, each place Cora goes alludes to LATER events in American hitsory in order to tie the legacy of racism in this country to slavery. You repeatedly refer to Whitehead depictions of “that time period”, which is a bit of a misreading.

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The biggest problem is how disconnected and decontextualized each of your points are. The essay reads like a random collection of singular scenes in the novel that are each being discussed solely on their individual merits, not being connected to the rest of the book, it’s plot, or it’s meaning. Not only is this problematic since your essay needs to make sense to someone who hasn’t read the novel, but it makes many of your points confusing to piece together. Please take a look at my comments throughout to see specifically what I mean.

I’m also confused by how little the paper focuses on Cora and her journey. You discuss where she goes at the very end of the draft, but it’s a slightly confusing (and not entirely correct) depiction, that’s also quite vague. Without reframing your paper to have a more overt argument that is connecting Whitehead’s biggest choices to the novel’s message, it will be difficult for you to expand your analysis in this section, and the others. Please, let me know if you have questions as I think this draft still needs a lot of work.

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