Narrative On The Life Of Fredrick Douglass Chp. 6-10

To what does Frederick attribute the kindness of Mrs. Auld?
She’s never had a slave.
What, according to Frederick, changes her?
Power and realization that education and slavery don’t go together.
Why is Mr. Auld angry when he finds that Mrs. Auld is teaching Frederick his letters?
b/c if blacks learn, they’ll become unmanageable.
Why does the inability to read keep men enslaved according to Frederick and to Mr. Auld?
b/c if you teach them, they’ll be unfit to be a slave, doesn’t benefit the owner, and slaves will want to know more.
What does Frederick hope to gain by learning how to read?
Freedom
Who teaches Frederick why black men are not taught to read?
Mr. Auld
Why is this lesson so important to him?
b/c he realizes that education & knowledge can get him to freedom.
Why is the life of a city slave so much better than the life of a plantation slave?
City slaves have more freedom, clothes, food, and don’t have to do hard labor on a plantation.
How did Mrs. Auld change and why did she change?
She stopped teaching FD and she became more mean.
What plan did Frederick adopt to learn how to read now that Mrs. Hugh was no longer teaching him?
He befriended white boys & gave them bread for lessons in reading.
What did Frederick learn from the book, The Columbian Orator?
That people fought against slavery; he learned how cruel white people are; he learned about slavery and freedom.
How does Master Auld’s prediction about Frederick and learning come true?
Learning more caused Fredick to want freedom more and more.
What do the two Irishmen encourage him to do?
Run up North, feared they were deceptive & would use him. White men had encouraged slaves to escape just so they could catch them and return to owners for a reward.
How does Fredrick learn to write?
by copying the letters at the shipyard.
How does he trick the white boys into teaching him new letters?
He would tell them he could read and write and they said “I don’t believe you. Let me see it.” . He used this to practice.
Why was Frederick forced to return to the plantation after the death of his master?
He had to be included in the valuation of master’s property so it could be divided equally between son Andrew and daughter Lucreatia because no will left.
How was the value of the master’s property determined? How were the slaves valued?
Slaves were ranked in value w/ animals (horses, sheep & swine).
Why was the division of property between Mistress Lucretia and Master Andrew so horrifying to the slaves?
slaves dreaded Master Andrew (cruel) Fredrick went to Lucretia and she sent him back to Master Hugh Auld
Who owns Frederick by the end of chapter eight?
Master Thomas Auld – who is Master Hugh Auld’s brother
Why is Frederick forced to leave Baltimore?
b/c of an argument between Master Hugh & Master Thomas. Master Thomas took Fredrick.
Why does Frederick now know the date?
He knows how to read now.
Who is Frederick’s new master?
Master Thomas Auld
What rule of slaveholding does Master Thomas Auld violate?
Didn’t give slaves enough food.
How did the slaves get food?
begging and stealing
What, according to Frederick, happens to Master Thomas Auld after his conversion to Christianity? Why?
Be became more cruel, religion supported his slave holding.
Why does Frederick find irony in the fact that the slaves’ Sabbath school is discontinued?
b/c slaves were supposed to learn b/ the class leaders didn’t want to teach slaves to read the New Testament.
What happened to Frederick’s grandmother after the deaths of Lucretia and Andrew?
Turned out to a hut in the woods to live alone and fend for herself.
How does this anecdote help explain the value of slaves? How are slaves valued when compared to livestock? [The ironic comparison of slaves to livestock is a continuous theme of the narrative.]
Livestock treated more humane. Slaves devote their entire life to masters only to be put out and left to die alone when of no use anymore.
QUOTES
1. “At this moment [valuation of the property], I saw more clearly than ever the brutalizing effects of slavery upon both slave and slaveholder.”
Upon returning to his place of birth after about 5 years he could see the negative effect of the harsh treatment the slaves went through and the toll the cruelness ways of the slaveholders took on the masters and overseers.
“The hearth is desolate. The children, the unconscious children, who once sang and danced in her presence, are gone. She gropes her way, in the darkness of age, for a drink of water. Instead of the voices of her children, she hears by day the moans of the dove, and by night the screams of the hideous owl. All is gloom. The grave is at the door.”
Describes how at the end of slaves life they are put out and left to die alone.
Why does Frederick say that “adopted slaveholders are the worst”?
They were cruel but cowardly, at times rigid and at times lax, never knew what to expect which was worse than knowing what was coming.
Why does Frederick let Master Thomas’s horse run away?
Horse would go five miles to father in lasw’s farm and he would use it to go there so he could get something to eat.
Again, Frederick compares the treatment of slaves to the treatment of horses. How?
Horses had better living conditions, more food than slaves.
How does Master Thomas propose to ‘break’ Frederick?
Sends him to Edward Covey, a known first rate overseer, for a year to be broken
Why was Mr. Covey’s reputation for breaking slaves of great value to him?
Enabled him to get his farm work done with less expense.
QUOTES
1. “He would quote this passage of Scripture—’He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.'”
Slaveholders used scripture and religion as a cover or excuse for the way that they treated the slaves. Do what I say and those who don’t shall be whipped.
. “He resolved to put me out, as he said, to be broken.”
Master Thomas Auld send Fredrick to Edward Covey for a year because he has a reputation of breaking a slaves spirit or will.
Master Thomas was one of the many pious slaveholders who hold slaves for the very charitable purpose of taking care of them.”
Master Thomas was a hypocrite pretending to be a religious man while enslaving black people.
How a man is made a slave; a slave made a man.
man made slave by inhumane treatment and no education. Slave made a man when learns to read and stands up for himself
Why does Mr. Covey whip Frederick?
Fredrick takes to long and breaks a gate trying to complete a task of retrieving wood with team of ox which he is unfamiliar with
Why are the slaves so fearful of Mr. Covey? Why does their work go on in his absence? What does Frederick mean by “Mr. Covey’s forte consisted in his power to deceive”?
Because he was sneaky and would pretend to leave but come back and crawl on hands and knees to surprise the slaves just to keep them on their toes. They never knew where he might be. Slaves called him “snake”
Why does Mr. Covey buy a slave to use as a breeder?
So he can get her pregnant and her babies would add to his wealth.
Why does he hire Mr. Samuel Harrison, a married man? What irony does Frederick find in this? He has him hook up with his slave Caroline to get her pregnant. Irony is he hires Mr. Harrison, a married man to commit adultery to get slave pregnant so he can enslave the children to add to his wealth.
He has him come every night to spend time with slave Caroline (breeder) to get her pregnant. Irony is he hires Mr. Harrison, a married man to commit adultery to get slave pregnant so he can enslave the children to add to his wealth.
How does Mr. Covey succeed in breaking Frederick?
by breaking his spirit and will to learn to read, escape, or live.
Why does Frederick go to Master Thomas Auld?
After falling ill and collapsing in the fields, Edward Covey hits him in the head and demands he get back up. He escapes to Master Thomas to show him the cruel treatment in hopes to appeal to his good heart and allow him to stay
Why does he return to Covey? Who convinces him to do so? What does Sandy Jenkins suggest that Frederick do?
Master Thomas Auld told him to go back. Alond the way he meets up with Sandy Jenkins who also convinces him to return but to first go with him in the woods to get a piece of root which is tied to his right side to protect him from ever being beat again
How does Frederick win the fight with Mr. Covey?
Frederick does not back down and grabs Covey by the throat and fights off the others. Believes the root may have protected him.
Why does Frederick contend that Mr. Covey does not turn him in?
He did not want to mess up his reputation as a first rate overseer
Why is Frederick’s battle with Mr. Covey “the turning-point in my career as a slave”?
Rekindled his desire for freedom and revived a sense of manhood.
How are the holidays used to “disgust the slave with freedom”?
Between Christmas and New Years slaves not required to perform labor other than feeding and caring for livestock. They are expected to indulge and drink heavily which makes them feel really bad thus relating a sick feeling with privileges of freedom.
Where does Frederick go after leaving Mr. Covey’s on January 1, 1834?
Three miles from St. Michaels
Who is his new master, and how does he treat Frederick?
William Freeland. He treated him better. Open and frank, not sneaky or religious.
Why does Frederick include the anecdotes about the two religious slave holders Mr.
Hopkins and Mr.Weeden? What point is he attempting to make?
That religion in the South was used as a cover for the crimes and horrible treatment done against slaves. Religious slaveholders were the worst.
Why and where does Frederick begin a Sabbath school? Why is it essential that the slaves tell no one about it?
Held it at a free slaves house. So the slaveholders would not know they were trying to learn how to read the will of God.
What would the slaveholders like the slaves to do on the Sabbath? Why is this ironic?
They had much rather see us engaged in those degrading sports, and drinking than to see us behaving like intellectual, moral, and accountable beings.
Why does Frederick decide to include the slaves in his Sabbath school in his plans to obtain his freedom? Why is this dangerous?
They were dear to him and he could not bear leaving them. Dangerous if anyone told or escape plan was found out they could all be punished.
Frederick makes the point that many slaves would “rather bear those ills we had, than fly to others, that we knew not of.” How does this help explain why so few slaves escaped?
The slaves at least knew what to expect if stayed where they were but leaving to escape to the North would bring unknown dangers and the fear of being caught and treated much worse was hard to overcome.
What is the purpose of the “protections” written by Frederick?
Any one having a white face, and being so disposed, could stop us, and subject us to examination so he wrote them for protections which were notes given them permission to go somewhere by master.
What happens to their plan, and how do the “protections” nearly cause their deaths?
Someone betrayed them and they were taken to jail to be examined. If they were found with the protection letters it would have been proof to convict them for trying to escape
What happens to each of the slaves who attempted to run away?
.
All were returned to Freeland home except Fredrick, as he was the whole cause of the intention of the others to run away, it was hard to make the innocent suffer with the guilty; and that they had, therefore, concluded to take the others home, and sell me, as a warning to the others that remained
When Frederick returns to Baltimore, what does he do?
lives again with Master Hugh, and to learn a trade
Frederick again decides to fight when he is attacked. What happens to him? What does Master Hugh attempt to do for Frederick?
He escaped to Master Hugh’s house and with bloody face told his story. Master Hugh refused to let him go back again to Mr. Gardner. He kept me himself, and his wife dressed his wound till restored to health. He then took me into the ship-yard of which he was foreman, in the employment of Mr. Walter Price.
What must Frederick do with the wages he earns each week as a caulker? Why?
Had to give it to Master Hugh because he had the power to compel him to give it up.
QUOTES
1. “Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. 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!”
Meaning that Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking his will to want to be free. He lost any interest in learning to read or escape or live.
“Those beautiful [sailing] vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts, to terrify and torment me with thought of my wretched condition.”
Seeing the ships going in and out of the bay tormented him and reminded him of his horrible life as a slave.
“You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.”
Fredrick is talking about how his time with Covey was a low point in his life and then presents his fight with Covey as the turning point in his life.
“He only can understand the deep satisfaction which I experienced, who has himself repelled by force the bloody arm of slavery.”
only a slave who has been able to defend himself could understand the satisfaction of the experience.
“I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,-a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,-a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,-and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection.”
slaveholders of the south were hypocrites and used religion to justify whipping and mistreating the slave.
6. “In coming to a fixed determination to run away, we did more than Patrick Henry, when he resolved upon liberty or death. With us it was a doubtful liberty at most, and almost certain death if we failed.”
Douglass suggests that his own bravery and that of his fellow slaves is more impressive than Henry’s. Also suggest slavery is worse than death.
. “I have observed this in my experience of slavery,-that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one.”
each time his living conditions improved it did not make him content it only made his desire to be free increase. Realizes the truth in keeping slaves ignorant to keep them from becoming unmanageable.
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