The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Vocabulary

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					                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter I

Vocabulary

impertinent
intimation
lineal
mulatto
overseer

 1. Why does Frederick Douglass not know his true age or date of birth?




 2. What is Douglass’ relationship with his mother? Who is his father? Who raises Douglass?




 3. Why do the slaves who are also the illegitimate children of the slaveholder suffer more than other
    slaves?




 4. Describe Plummer




 5. What kind of overseer is Mr. Plummer? In what way does Mr. Plummer show Douglass “the blood-
    stained gate, the entrance to the hell of slavery”? (Douglas 23) What offense does Aunt Hester
    commit?
                                                                     The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter 2

Vocabulary
anguish
betides
ineffable
obdurate
privation
providence

 1. Describe the life of a slave based on what Douglass tells readers.




 2. What is the monthly food and clothing allowance for an adult slave? What do the children receive?




 3. Why do the slaves consider Mr. Hopkins to be a good overseer?




 4. Why do the slaves consider it a great honor to be asked to run an errand to the Great House Farm?




 5. Why does Douglass think the songs the slaves sing on their way to the Great House Farm “would do
    more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole
    volumes of philosophy on the subject could do”? (Douglas 29)




 6. What mistaken conclusion do many white people make when they hear slaves sing?
                                                        The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter III

Vocabulary

Ascertain
Defile
Equipage
Execrate
Imbibe
Stratagem
Sunder
  1. How does the Colonel keep the slaves from stealing fruit from his garden? Why is
     this system both greedy and unjust?



  2. How is the Colonel cruel to Old Barney and Young Barney, the caretakers of his
     stable?



  3. Describe how you would feel if you were Old Barney. Consider the fact that you’re
     an older man working with your son. You also are being beaten and disrespected
     for your hard work.



  4. An allusion is comparing things from the story to someone or something famous.
     Find an example of allusion in this chapter.



  5. What’s the worst disgrace for a slave?
                                                         The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter IV

Vocabulary

Debasing

Homage

Immutable

  1. What characteristics make Mr. Gore, “of all the overseers, the most dreaded by the
     slaves”? (Douglass 25)?




  2. How does Mr. Gore benefit from killing Demby rather than facing murder charges?




  3. Cite three incidents from the chapter (other than Demby’s murder) which validate
     the common saying at the time among white children “that it was worth a half-cent
     to kill a ‘n-,’ and a half-cent to bury one.” (Douglass 27)
                                                           The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter V

Vocabulary
Scurf
Manifestation
Egotistical
Interposition
Abhorrence

 1. Briefly describe Frederick’s life on the plantation. What does he wear and eat? How
    does he spend his time?




 2. What does Frederick think about leaving the Lloyd plantation to live in Baltimore?
    Why does he feel this way?




 3. Why is Mrs. Auld, his new mistress, a pleasant surprise for Douglass?



 4. What job is Douglass given in his new house?



 5. How does Douglass view leaving Colonel Lloyd’s plantation? Why?




 6. Cite incidents described in Chapter Five to show that young Douglass already
    possesses the qualities of courage and intelligence before he leaves for Baltimore.
                                                             The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter VI

Vocabulary
Vestige
Atrocious
Lacerated
Odium
Festering
Offal
 1. List two ways Sophia Auld demonstrates her inexperience with owning a slave.
          a.

         b.


 2. Why does Douglass credit both Mr. and Mrs. Auld with helping him learn to read?




 3. What does Douglass learn about the white man’s power to enslave the black man?
    How do you think this knowledge contributes to Douglass’ feelings of self respect and
    racial pride?




 4. How are the lives of the slaves in the city better than those of the slaves on the
    plantations?
                                                                  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter VII
Vocabulary
Chattel
Depravity
Precepts
Bestow
Denunciation
Unabated

   1. What training does Sophia Auld receive in “irresponsible power,” changing her naturally kind
      disposition? List the ways in which she changes.




   2. Why is she so paranoid of Douglass’ reading?



   3. What book does Douglass read? What moral does Douglass learn from reading about the
      conversation between the slave and his master in this book? What does he learn from Sheridan’s
      speech?




   4. What strategy does he use to learn how to read? Why does he say he WON’T mention the names of
      the boys who helped him?




   5. Why does Douglass say that reading really is a, “Curse rather than a blessing?” Why does he
      consider suicide?




   6. When speaking with the Irishmen, why does Douglass pretend to be uninterested in what they tell
      him?



   7. Why does Douglass learn how to write?
                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter VIII
Vocabulary
Valuation
Profligate
Dissipation
Callous

   1. Why does Douglass leave Baltimore? How does he feel about this?




   2. Why does Douglass suffer more anxiety than other slaves during the division of the state?




   3. What happens after Lucretia dies?




   4. Describe the life of Douglass’ grandmother. What happens to her?




   5. Why does Douglass say the treatment of his grandmother fills him with, “unutterable loathing of
      slaveholders?




   6. What was Douglass’ biggest regret at this time? Why?
                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter IX
Vocabulary
Sufficiency
Subsist
Copyist
Pretensions
Pernicious

   1. What makes Captain Auld a mean man? What must the slaves do in order to survive?




   2. What does is mean the Captain Auld gives, “religious sanction and support for his slaveholding
      cruelty?” Cite two examples of how he does this.




   3. What does Douglass to that angers Captain Auld? Why does he do this? Where is he sent?




   4. Describe Mr. Covey.




   5. Despite Mr. Covey’s reputation as a hard master, why does Douglass willingly go to work on his
      farm?
                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter X
Vocabulary
Brute
Languished
Ague
Turbid
Epoch
Quailed
Imbue

  1. What is Douglass doing for the first time in his life?



  2. Why does Covey whip Douglass almost every week for the first six months he works for him?




  3. Why do the slaves on the Covey farm continue to do their work even if Mr. Covey is absent?




  4. Douglass states that Covey believes himself to be a very religious man, but he is deceiving himself
     and trying to deceive God. What does this mean? Provide one example of this.




  5. Why does Douglass believe Covey is successful in breaking him and turning him into a brute?



  6. What does Douglass do when he watches the sail ships? What do the sails represent?



  7. Who is Sandy Jenkins? What does he give to Douglass to help him prevent any future beatings by
     Mr. Covey?



  8. Why does Douglass come to believe in the superstition that the root has the power to protect him
     from beatings? Why is his battle with Mr. Covey a turning point in his life as a slave?



  9. Why does Mr. Covey not take Douglass to the constable to be whipped?
                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
10.      Why do the masters want their slaves to drink whiskey during the holidays?




11.      In what way are the holidays given to the slaves “part and parcel of the gross fraud, wrong,
      and inhumanity of slavery”?




12.       Why does Douglass think “of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious
      slaveholders are the worst”?


13.       Compare and Contrast Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Weeden, and Mr. Freeland.




14.       What does Douglass say was his, “sweetest engagement?”




15.       Describe the plan to run away. How does it fail?




16.       Where does Master Thomas decide to send Douglass? Why?



17.       What does he do on the shipyard? Why is it such a problem?




18.        What kind of freedom does Douglass have over his own employment after learning to calk
      ships?
                                                                   The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Chapter XI
Imputation
Exculpate
Fetters
Refinement
Habiliments

   1. What two reasons does Douglass give for not explaining the specific details of his successful
      escape to freedom?




   2. How does Douglass feel about the Underground Railroad? Why?




   3. Why doesn’t Master Thomas allow Douglass to hire out his time?




   4. What agreement does he make with Master Hugh?




   5. Why does Douglass believe that more slaves do not try to escape?



   6. On what day and where does Douglass escape to?




   7. What motto does Douglass adopt in New York? Why?
                                                               The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
8. Briefly identify the following people and how they help Douglass after he escapes to freedom:

      a. Mr. David Ruggles –


      b. Rev. J.W.C. Pennington-


      c. Mr. Nathan Johnson –




9. Why is Douglass surprised by the appearance of New Bedford? What surprises him about the
   other free blacks he meets in New Bedford?




10. How does the anti-slavery convention in Nantucket change Douglass’ life?

				
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