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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

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Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. Why does Douglass have no knowledge of his birth date?

2. What is Douglass’s probable father’s name?

3. Why do children of a slave-owning father and slave mother have the worst lot of the slaves?

4. What event does Douglass connect with his introduction to the horrors of slavery?

5. What do Colonel Lloyd’s slaves call the plantation on which Douglass grows up?

6. Which of the following is not what Douglass interprets slave songs to be?

7. Which of the following is not one of the overseers under whom Douglass grows up?

8. What is Douglass’s main point about Gore shooting Demby?

9. Which of the following is not a reason Douglass is happy about the prospect of moving to Baltimore?

10. What is the reason for Sophia Auld’s transformation?

11. Why is Douglass grateful that Hugh Auld orders Douglass’s reading lessons stopped?

12. Why does Douglass believe that city slaveholders are usually less cruel than rural slaveholders?

13. Which of the following is not one of Douglass’s sources for learning how to read and write?

14. What does Douglass gain from The Columbian Orator?

15. From what source does Douglass learn the meaning of “abolition”?

16. Why does Douglass move from Baltimore to Thomas Auld’s?

17. What is Thomas Auld’s main offense as a slaveholder?

18. Why do the slaves call Covey “the snake”?

19. In what regard is Douglass’s August confrontation with Covey a turning point?

20. What service does Douglass offer his fellow slaves at William Freeland’s?

21. What happens to Douglass and the others when their escape plan is betrayed?

22. Why do Douglass’s fellow apprentices at the Baltimore shipyard attack him?

23. How does Douglass get enough money to escape?

24. Who helps Douglass in New York City?

25. Why is Douglass surprised by New Bedford?

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

by Mr_Cafaro, April 04, 2013

The title Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is suggested by the CCSS Initiative as an Exemplar Text for middle school.


11 out of 21 people found this helpful

Actually a good book

by BellaTheGod, November 20, 2013

No doubt, I thought it was gonna be super boring and I was gonna hate it, but to the contrary, I actually REALLY liked it. It's something I can read, and it doesn't take too long to read either. If you actually like history, and like to read about the stuff you won't find in a textbook, then this narrative is worthwhile.


such Douglass

much history


7 out of 10 people found this helpful

I found it inspiring!

by LoveTrueBooks, August 07, 2014

I LOVE reading books but I am particular. When it comes to pleasure reading I prefer nonfiction. I am weary of fictionalized history. This was refreshing.

Since this was over 100 years ago, I don’t entirely relate to it but I can say that human nature hasn’t changed. Slavery is not an American phenomena. It has always existed. A good world history course will demonstrate that. Wanting to enslave someone is a mindset that needs to be changed. Too many by people only associate it with race and that is not accurate.


1 out of 1 people found this helpful

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