Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
Open-Ended Reading Questions
1. How does Douglass portray the effects of slavery on masters and slaves? On the family? On religion (both black and white)? What happens to Douglass's grandmother? What happens to his own relationship with his mother? What happens to Mrs. Auld when she "learns" to be a slaveholder?
Frederick showed that slave owners had absolutely no guilt owning a person and treating them as more of an item than a human. A perfect example of this is when Mrs. Auld is told that if Douglass learns he will no longer be useful as a slave, at this time in the book she began to turn very mean and cruel towards her slaves and treating them more like property instead of being somewhat generous as before. Frederick’s family was forced to struggle through the hard times, and had to live a very unusual life, for example: Frederick’s mother was sold to another slave family so it was very hard for Frederick to see his mother, and eventually she passed away when Frederick was seven, although he didn’t seem very effected. Frederick also ends up proving that Covey was extremely two faced by bring up a very valid point, which was owning slaves was unnatural and unchristian like. As for Frederick’s Grandmother, that truly opened his eyes as to how these slave owners really feel about you, regardless as for what you do. She served her masters for years and then when she grew too old to serve them they just tossed her out like a piece of trash and left her for dead.
2. What kind of master/Christian is Covey? Why does Douglass choose to discuss the effects slavery had on white families and Christians?
Covey is a terrible Christian as well as slave owner. Douglass chose to discuss the effects of slavery on white families as well as Christians just to show it wasn’t just slaves who were being effected.
3. Compare Douglass's portrayal of slavery on plantations (Lloyd's),...