Narratives of a Slave
1. Slaves didn’t know their mothers or birthdays. Assess the impact on their mental well being?
2. Slavery degraded master and slave. Masters derived pleasure from abusing chattel. How would this behavior contribute to their diminished humanity?
3. Describe the character and wealth of Colonel Lloyd. How did this kind of wealth corrupt owner’s sense of justice and fair play? Provide specific examples
4. What was a slave’s life like at the Great House Farm? What was Douglass’ perception about the songs?
5. Did Southerners treat their slaves well? They loved to sing. What was Douglass’ perception about the songs?
6. Assess: “to be a poor man’s slave was deemed a disgrace”.
7. Who is Austin Gore and his maxims? What did he do to Demby? Why? Gore’s punishment?
8. Assess: “was worth a half-cent to kill a nigger and half-cent to bury one”. What does that reveal about the worth of a slave and their life?
9. Who were Mr. and Mrs. Auld and what great revelation did Douglass discover while in Miss Sophia’s care? Was she sincere? Her husband’s response & why?
10. How does the life of a city slave compare/contrast to that of a country slave?
11. Discuss Douglass’s view concerning education? How did her pursue it? Why?
12. What was the brutalizing effect of valuation upon the death of a master?
13. How did the institution of slavery measure with a Southerner’s piety? Do you agree? Explain.
14. Was Douglass a religious man? Support your position with Douglass’ words.
15. Edward Covey had a reputation. What was that reputation and how did he earn it? A snake?
16. Did Covey break Douglass’ spirit? How was Douglass reborn? Why was it a turning point?
17. Christmas was an unusual time on the plantation. How so? What was the intent of special treatment meted out to the slave?
18. Describe Douglass’s life in Baltimore. How was he received in his job there and why?
19. What were the plans for escape and their outcome? How do you think he was discovered?
20. What subterfuge did Douglass use to gain his freedom? Describe the drama of his flight.
21. How did the community of New Bedford react to the arrival of Douglass? Could he work in his trade? Explain.
22. What to the slave is the Fourth of July? Write a 350 word analysis of this speech.
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