Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad: A Metaphor

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad (2016) tricked me for a moment. It portrays the famous underground railroad, a network of abolitionists and volunteers who helped slaves escape the south and head north in nineteenth century America, as an actual railroad with trains and tunnels. I thought that I had somehow missed something in history classes,... Continue Reading →

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The Little Woman Who Wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin

I have been in group settings in which people will say, “I don’t really care about [insert societal problem] because it doesn’t affect me.”  Or, “I don’t want to talk about that because it upsets me.”  Notice that both of these statements end with the pronoun “me,” and consequently these statements are essentially selfish.  Now,... Continue Reading →

Huck Finn’s Truthful Eyes

I once gave a presentation in an undergraduate grammar and usage course about the correct usage of “between you and me.”  Saying “between you and I” is incorrect.  On my handout, I included several quotes that demonstrated this usage, and I had included quotes from both Mark Twain and Samuel Clemens.  Of course, I knew... Continue Reading →

Do You Leap Out of Bed in the Morning?

I recently watched the adorable movie Julie and Julia with the incomparable Meryl Streep and the impossibly cute Amy Adams.  Yes, the movie is about blogging (and cooking), but that’s not my point.  There is a scene in which Julia Child is writing to a friend, and she describes herself leaping out of bed every... Continue Reading →

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