Fredrick Douglass

“Our house stood within a few rods of the Chesapeake Bay, whose broad bosom was ever white with sails from every quarter of the habitable globe. Those beautiful vessels, robed in purest white, so delightful to the eye of freemen, were to me so many shrouded ghosts…” (Douglass 63). “I at first rejected the idea, that the simple carrying of a root in my pocket would have any such effect as he had said, and was not disposed to take it; but Sandy impressed the necessity with much earnestness…” (Douglass 67). “After buying her; he hired a married man of Mr. Samuel Harrison, to live with him one year; and him he used to fasten up with her every night! The result was, that, at the end of the year, the miserable woman gave birth to twins” (Douglass 62). “He was immediately chained and handcuffed; and thus, without a moment’s warning, he was snatched away, and forever sundered, from his family and friends, by a hand more unrelenting than death” (Douglass 30). | “I was broken in body, soul, and spirit.My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery close in upon me…” (Douglass 63). “A representative could not be prouder of his election to a seat in the American Congress than a slave on one of the out-farms would be of his election to do errands at the Great House Farm” (Douglass 25). | “You are loosed from your moorings, and are free; I am fast in my chains, and am a slave! You move merrily before the gentle gale, and I sadly before the bloody whip…God, deliver me! Let me be free! Is there any God?Why am I a slave? I will run away. I will not stand it… I had as well be killed running as die standing” (Douglass 63-64). “Does a righteous God govern the universe? And for what does he hold the thunders in his right hand, if not to smite the oppressor…” (Douglass 75). | “It was a most terrible spectacle. I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with which I beheld it: (Douglass 20). “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with the much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger” (Douglass 18). Final Analysis | When Douglass is at his lowest point, he looks out onto the Chesapeake Bay and is suddenly struck by a vision of white sailing ships. To him, the ships symbolize freedom and it just comes to show it comes in different forms and names. Douglass doesn’t seem to believe this, but he wears the root on his right side in order to settle Sandy. The root is a symbol of a traditional African approach to religion and belief. | Douglass doesn’t talk about women very often, and when he does, he usually associates them with suffering.He makes a special point of describing the traumatic sight of female slaves being beaten and abused. Here Douglass is describing how when you take a slave away from their family it is just worse than death, and slaves are more afraid of being taken away from their family. It could happen in an instant, with no warning, and for no reason. | The use of types of weather as a main cause of being a broken spirit is fitting; much like people feel gloomy and down on a rainy day.The repetition of the word work, and the repetition and constant deed of Douglass’ work plays a role in the chapter. Slaves selected to work in the Great House Farm instead of the fields was a great honor, but Douglass is being ironic. After all, even a slave in the Great House is still a slave but they were happy to be at a better place. | Douglass demands to know how God can exist if He allows Douglass to be a slave. But instead of turning against God, Douglass turns the problem around: since there is a God, he reasons, God will help him become free.Again, he questions if there is a God or a righteous one because he lets slavery exist. How can He rule a universe if He would let such terrible things take place. Douglass’ sense of right and wrong maybe not limited to his belief in God. | When Douglass tries to describe his emotions on watching his Aunt Hester whipped naked. No words he is capable of writing down can get the point across. Douglass’ tone here is indifferent. He never really knew his mother or bonded with her and he’s also showing how slavery prevents you from having a family. |


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