"Frederick Douglass" by Sandra Thomas - summary

Essay by beachguy818High School, 10th grade November 2006

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A slave's only concern is to obey his or her master. Frederick Douglass was learning how to read, write, but was forced to stop because of his master and the laws of slavery. "If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell." A slave would become uncontrollable and worth nothing to his owner.

There is a vast difference in the treatment of slaves. A city slave has it best. They are better clothed and well fed. They experience privileges that plantation slaves could only dream about. "A plantation slave has a sense of shame." Their meals are a joke and they experience a kind of cruelty usually unknown of any city slave.

Douglass is trying his best to get an education. His master denied him of learning by keeping a close tab on him. He went looking for an education in the street, he would even exchange food for knowledge.

Douglass got a hold of the book; "the Columbian Orator" and read it. The book opened up his eyes about slavery. After reading the book, he regrets learning the truth and is now tormented with the understanding about slavery and his people, knowing that there is nothing to reverse it. Freedom appeared everywhere and started to give him hope. Douglass had been advised to run away to the north for freedom, if he didn't want to be a slave for the rest of his entire life.

If he were to run to the north he would need a pass that he will have to write. With his goal set, he practiced writing initials on lumbar in the shipyard. After learning a little he would trick the little white boys to show him more. Douglass also used Master Thomas's copybook to practice writing when he was...