“Go on or die.” Is something a woman named Harriet Tubman would say from the story “Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad” by Ann Petry. Harriet Tubman is a courageous woman who helps slaves gets their freedom back by escorting them through an “underground-railroad” which leads to Canada where slavery rules are different. The story helps readers how much Tubman cared about Slaves and freedom for African-Americans. The author was trying to inspire others to be just as noble as Harriet Tubman was.
The story first takes place in Maryland and then goes all the way up to Canada. Maryland is where the story starts and it is where Tubman saves the slaves. She escorts the group of slaves through the Underground Railroad, to Canada. The story also took place during 1851 and it was winter making the trip very cold and sleepless. This, however, did not stop Harriet Tubman and if any of the slaves decided to stop, she said “Go on or die.” This supports how noble Harriet was and how much she cared for the slaves and their freedom.
Figurative language was a big factor in the story. There are several examples the author included, however, “Go on or die” had a lot of meaning to me. Tubman said this because if she let one of the slaves free, they would turn traitor and the slave would tell everything that Harriet was doing for the slaves. Because of this, Tubman said “…You’d be better off dead” and then she points the gun towards the slave. This forced several slaves to go on. Another example is when Harriet said “…would have to feed them on hope and bright dreams of freedom instead of the fried pork and corn bread and milk she had promised them.” I thought this meant that Harriet had to give them freedom and hope to make up for the food that they didn’t get. In addition, when Tubman described the slaves as “Eleven-thousand dollars’ worth of flesh and bone and muscle that belonged to Maryland planters” also is an example of figurative language.
The tone of the story is serious. I though the author wrote this story to show how much Harriet Tubman wanted slaves to have free lives and slavery to end. In addition, I think the author tried to inspire others to be just as courageous and noble as Harriet Tubman. When the author wrote “She had a definite, crystallized purpose…” I thought the author meant that Tubman’s purpose was to help slaves get their freedom and put them out of their dreadful lives the once lived being a slave.
I think Harriet Tubman reminds me of Superman or any other superhero. In my opinion, Harriet Tubman could be described as a superhero because she puts her life at risk just to give freedom to slaves that she doesn’t even know. Superman is noble and courageous just like Harriet Tubman. Because of all of the things Tubman does, I truly think she could be described as a “superhero”.
In conclusion, I hope you can now realize how much Harriet Tubman inspires me. I hope the story inspires others too, and to take action just like how Harriet did in the story. In the end, you could describe Harriet Tubman as a courageous, hard-working, noble woman.