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Chapter 1 Simile By far the largest part of slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs.

Life of mulatto children

Biblical Allusion

I believe that Fredrick Douglass is comparing the slaves to animals because he is trying to say that they are treated the same way. To prove this he makes the point that slaves do not know something as simple as their own age. This is also an example of the masters dehumanizing the slaves; another way they do this is taking them away from their mothers when they are very young. Douglass father is white and is rumored to 4-5 be his master. This makes Douglass a mulatto child since his mother was a black slave. He thinks that children like him have it the worst. The wives of the masters sometimes showed more hatred towards these mulatto children because they were living proof of their husbands infidelity. But, since it was the law that mulatto children were still slaves, it was beneficial to have these children. Their fathers usually sold them to other slave holders to save their wives pain. God cursed Ham and therefore American 5 slavery is right In the bible Ham is the first dark skinned man, because of this people call him the father of the black race. Noah curses Ham which lead people to believe that all negro people are cursed. I think that Douglass writes this to show that even if all the lineal descendants of Ham are cursed and show be enslaved there are still many slaves, such as himself, that have white fathers so therefore it is wrong for them to be in slavery according to the bible.

Chapter 2 Name Meaning Mr. Severe was rightly named: he was a cruel man. Mr. Severe was an overseer that was very mean to the slaves. Douglass says that his real Christian given name was Mr. Severe. I question if Douglass is giving names to his characters to express their characteristics without him even having to tell us. If the names he is using are not true then that also takes the believability away from the rest of Douglass story. Another example of this is Mr. Hopkins which could symbolize the hope he brings to the slaves when he arrives on the farm. were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. Slavery is not a thing therefore is cannot have jaws. This personification is Douglass telling us that slavery holds them in and they cannot get out. Also, usually only big scary animals such as lions have jaws. This could be relating slavery as a whole to these animals that hold onto and kill their prey. there is no flesh in his obdurate heart. This is a quote from an anti-slave poem Charity, (1782) written by William Cowper. Since Douglass audience at the time was against slavery most of them had probably read this poem and knew exactly to what Douglass was referencing. This would add to Douglass case because it would show that he is not the only one that knows how bad life in slavery is. It is basically Douglass backing up his ideas with someone elses work that has the same idea as his own. It also adds to his credibility. 12





Chapter 3 Biblical Allusion Its excellent fruit was quite a temptation to the hungry swarms of boys 18

Word Choice


This is an allusion to the garden of Eden. The slaves can also not go into the garden and eat its fruits. They will be severely punished, just as Adam and Eve would have been. Only it is a little bit different because the whites were allowed to go into the garden but the black slaves were not. I did not know what a barouche was so I 19 looked it up. A barouche was a fashionable type of horse-drawn carriage in the 19th century. I believe that Douglass chooses to use this specific word so that we can see the wealth of his master. Also for us to understand the way that living was back then. and enjoyed the luxury of 20 whipping the servants when they pleased This is an example of how Douglass thinks that the white masters live a great life. He thinks that they enjoy whipping the slaves. He feels that their life is so much better than the lives if the slaves. It is kind of a self pity moment which there is not many of in this narrative. For most time Douglass is not complaining or feeling sorry for himself.

Chapter 4 Names Mr. Gore was proud, ambitious, and persevering. He was artful, cruel, and obdurate. This is another example of how the names of the characters in this narrative seem to be fake. This is because the name describes the characteristics of the character. I looked up these people and the names are proven to be true but it is still very hard to believe Proof Mr. Gore lived in St. Michael's, Talbot county, 27 24

Maryland This is a map of St. Michaels in Talbot county, Maryland. Douglass adds this so that his audience can think of this place and put names to faces as he is telling them about his life here. Dehumanization It was a common saying, even among little white boys, that it was worth a half-cent to kill a "nigger," and a half-cent to bury one. This represents how little the slaves meant to the white people. They were thought of as property and not humans. In this time the slaves had no rights. They could not vote or testify against a crime or even talk to a white person in a way they did not like.


Chapter 5 Treatment as animals I was kept almost naked -- no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to my knees. I had no bed. The slaves were not given much live off of. The masters did not care if they were happy only that they were working. Even if the slave was very sick the masters still had to make them work. This was the beginning of time is money because all the time the slaves werent working was money that the master was losing. Age I was probably between seven and eight years old when I left Colonel Lloyd's plantation. This is one of only a few times in the narrative were Douglass mentions his age. At one point he states that the slaves do not know their age so I think that Douglass says his age so that it is easier to fallow along with the story he is telling. I also believe that this age is just a guess and that most of the slaves were just guessing ages but actually had no idea of their real age. Slave property I spent the time in washing, not so much because I wished to, but because Mrs. Lucretia had told me I must get all the dead skin off my feet and knees before I could go to Baltimore; for the people in Baltimore were very cleanly, and would laugh at me if I looked dirty. Mrs. Lucretia wants Douglass to look cleanly not because people will laugh at him but because slaves are a reflection of their masters. If Douglass was dirty when he arrived in Baltimore then the people of that city would 31 31 30

think that his masters treated him very badly. Chapter 6 Dehumanization she had been in a good degree preserved from the blighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. It is here that Douglass realizes that slavery is harmful to people on both sides of it. He knows that being a slaveholder is almost as bad as being a slave so he is grateful to all of the white people that are still good because they do not own slaves. Alliteration That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon. The alliteration that Douglass uses here adds emphasis to his statement. By say that Mrs. Alud was red with rage gives the reader a very clear image of how man Mrs. Alud was. Also the alliteration is very pleasing to the ear and since this was first a speech it makes sense for it to sound good to a listener. Sentence structure What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn. The balance of this sentence clearly shows that Douglass and his master were opposites just as the two sides of the sentence. It shows that Douglass loved and wanted exactly the opposite 38 36 36

of whatever his master, Mr. Alud, wanted. Chapter 7 Word choice to make her equal to the task of treating me as though I were a brute. The definition of brute is
1. An animal; a beast. 2. A brutal, crude, or insensitive person.


(www.yourdictionary.com) Douglass uses this word because it is another example of how slaves were treated as animals. Also, it shows that masters were not supposed to treat slaves as people but as beasts. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm. Here Douglass is personifying freedom. I think he does this because he feels as if freedom is something real but not real to him. It is all he can think about and he feels as it is the only thing that matters to him. To him freedom is something that you can get but not something that you are given. Word choice If a slave ran away and succeeded in getting clear, or if a slave killed his master, set fire to a barn, or did any thing very wrong in the mind of a slaveholder, it was spoken of as the fruit of ABOLITION. An abolitionist was a person who wanted to do away with slavery. The audiences that Douglass was speaking to were abolitionist. So by using this word and saying he did not know what it means makes his audience very angry at the masters for not telling the slaves of the people



who were on their side.

Chapter 8 Treatment of slaves I was immediately sent for, to be valued with the other property. When the property is divided the slaves are put with all of the animals and examined the same way as them. This is just another example of the harsh treatment of the slaves in the south and how they were thought of as property or animals but not as humans in anyway. In the eyes of the whites the slaves were only there to help them and they were not good for anything else. Word choice We all felt that we might as well be sold at once to the Georgia traders. The people that were listening to Douglass at the time would have know that the Georgia traders were the worst. They were the most cruel and once you went to Georgia you never got out. This may be because of its location so deep in the south or just because of the cruelty. Foreshadowing On my passage, I paid particular attention to the direction which the steamboats took to go to Philadelphia. I found, instead of going down, on reaching North Point they went up the bay, in a north-easterly direction. I deemed this knowledge of the utmost importance. This is Douglass figuring out a way to escape from slavery. By telling the readers this they know that he is going to try to escape by way of the water and fallow the path that the boats took 53 49 48

while he was watching on his way back from Baltimore.

Chapter 9 Characters There were four slaves of us in the kitchen -my sister Eliza, my aunt Priscilla, Henny, and myself; This is the first time in the narrative that Douglass talks about his family. I believe that by doing this he was trying to protect them and everything that they had gone through. The reason he brings them up here I believe is to show the he is living with a small family which he loves very much and does not want to be separated from. Biblical reference and yet that mistress and her husband would kneel every morning, and pray that God would bless them in basket and store! Since Douglass audience was church going people, this statement would greatly offend them. They would not be able to stand the fact that God was answering their prayers and blessing them with food and they were not sharing. They would keep all the food to themselves and let the slaves starve with very little food to eat. Word choice It neither made him to be humane to his slaves, nor to emancipate them. The definition of emancipate is; set free, esp. from legal, social, or political restrictions: "the citizen must be emancipated from obsessive government secrecy"; "emancipated young women". 56 55 55

This word is used because the audience will associate that word to the Catholic emancipation. Chapter 10 Personification My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute! This personifies slavery as a dark night that falls over Douglass. It states that it is able to turn a man into a brute. I think that this is what sparks the fire again within Douglass to hate all of the masters and want to escape again as he does later. Climax 67