Frederick Douglass Quiz
1. Why does Douglass have no knowledge of his birth date?
(A) A fire destroyed the records
(B) His mother died when he was young
(C) Slave owners keep their slaves ignorant of their birth dates
(D) He left his personal records behind when he escaped
2. What is Douglass's probable father's name?
(A) Colonel Lloyd
(C) Captain Anthony
(D) Thomas Auld
3. Why do children of a slave-owning father and slave mother have the worst lot of the
(A) They must face the cruel wrath of the slave-owner's wife
(B) They are assigned field work
(C) They are never freed
(D) They are taken from their mothers
4. What event does Douglass connect with his introduction to the horrors of slavery?
(A) His birth
(B) Captain Anthony's whipping of Aunt Hester
(C) Gore's killing of Demby
(D) Learning to read
5. What do Colonel Lloyd's slaves call the plantation on which Douglass grows up?
(A) Wye Town
(B) Great House Farm
(C) New Design
6. Which of the following is not what Douglass interprets slave songs to be?
(A) Prayers to God
(B) Calls to action
(C) Testimonies against slavery
(D) Expressions of anguish
7. Which of the following is not one of the overseers under whom Douglass grows up?
(A) Mr. Severe
(B) Mr. Hopkins
(C) Mr. Gore
(D) Mr. Auld
8. What is Douglass's main point about Gore shooting Demby?
(A) Gore acts irrationally
(B) Gore is overly cruel
(C) Whites are not punished for killing blacks
(D) Gore thinks Demby is trying to escape
9. Which of the following is not a reason Douglass is happy about the prospect of moving to
(A) The Aulds are described as a kind couple
(B) His cousin has described Baltimore as beautiful
(C) He has no attachments at home
(D) He is given a pair of trousers for the move
10. What is the reason for Sophia Auld's transformation?
(A) She becomes lazy when Douglass is around to do her work for her
(B) She becomes cruel with the irresponsible power of owning another person
(C) She begins drinking
(D) She senses that Douglass is becoming smarter than her son, Thomas
11. Why is Douglass grateful that Hugh Auld orders Douglass's reading lessons stopped?
(A) Douglass does not like his reading lessons
(B) Auld unwittingly gives Douglass the key to escape slavery
(C) Auld betrays his fear that Douglass might escape
(D) Douglass already knows how to read
12. What is it about learning to read that actually makes Frederick sad?
(A) He is now aware of how horrible slavery really is
(B) He reads how his mother died
(C) He reads who his father is
13. In what ways are the traditional ideas of „good‟ and „bad‟ twisted in the narrative so
far? To be a „good‟ overseer you must be truly baaaad person. To be considered a „bad‟
overseer (like Mr. Hopkins) it was because you were probably a good person and felt bad
about hurting other human beings. Also, the people who were truly bad people (Covey,
Capt. Thomas Auld, the Ministers) were one who claimed to be most religious, which should
be a good thing.
14. Discuss the quote “poison of irresponsible power” and what it means. How has that
idea played a role in the narrative so far? When Sophia Auld becomes a slaveholder, she is
given huge responsibility, but doesn‟t know how to treat people badly. She becomes more
cruel while owning Frederick (not allowing him to read, suspecting him of trying to learn,
etc.) the longer she owns him. She becomes poisoned because of the slaveholding. All
people who get a bit of power and suffer from megalomania because of it experience the
„poison of irresponsible power‟ of it.
15. Discuss in about 5 sentences the idea that "knowledge is power" and how that slogan
directly applies to Frederick. The more Frederick learns, by reading, discussing abolition,
etc, the more hungry he becomes for freedom. Not only does the power of reading
present the opportunity to read how other have escaped, but it also provided him with the
power to learn how horrible the institution of slavery really was. The power to do
anything behind the back of his slaveholder, especially read, was a victory for Frederick
Be able to answer these questions:
Why does Frederick keep bringing up the comparison between animals to slaves throughout the
Frederick makes numerous points about the irony of the Christian nature of the slaveholders. Why is
Describe how Frederick learned that reading was his way out of chains of slavery.
Describe the manipulation the slaveholders used on the slaves while the slaves had their "holiday."
Frederick deliberately omits the names of almost all those people who helped him throughout his life.
He also names many of the cruel slaveholders. Why does he do this?
Describe what happened to Frederick was beaten up at the shipyard. Why was it surprising that
Hugh was defensive of Frederick?
Describe Hugh and Frederick's deal for Frederick to 'hire out his time."