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Frederick Douglass - 1st PUC English Textbook Solutions

Frederick Douglass
    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass was born into slavery sometime in 1817 or 1818. Like many slaves, he is unsure of his exact date of birth. ... Lloyd owns hundreds of slaves, who call his large, central plantation the “Great House Farm.” Life on any of Lloyd's plantations, like that on many Southern plantations, is brutal.  Remembering Frederick Douglass' escape from slavery. Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery on September 3, 1838, aided by a  disguise  and  job  skills  he  had  learned  while  forced  to  work  in  Baltimore's  shipyards. Douglass posed  as  a  sailor  when  he grabbed a train in Baltimore that was headed to Philadelphia.  Frederick  Douglass  does  not  know  his true  age  or  date  of  birth  because  he is  a slave.  He  also  states  that  none  of  the  slaves he has ever met could not tell of their birthday either. ... Frederick Douglass' relationship with his mother is not good, seeing that they are both working on separate plantations.  As a slave, Douglass did not know his parents well. His father was  most likely his master, and his mother  was on a neighboring planation  and  died  when  he  was  still  a  young  boy.  ...  He  was  separated  from his mother  as  an  infant,  as  was  the  custom  with slaves. She would come and visit him, but he barely knew her.  Frederick Douglass is mainly famous as an abolitionist. After he escaped from slavery, he became one of the leading abolitionist speakers and writers in the United States. He  was definitely the most important African American male abolitionist. He pushed for black freedom in many ways.  Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War. Captain  Anthony  -  Douglass's first  master and  probably  his  father.  Anthony  is  the  clerk  for  Colonel  Lloyd,  managing  Lloyd's surrounding plantations and the overseers of those plantations. Anthony is a cruel man who takes pleasure in whipping his slaves, especially Douglass's Aunt Hester.  Douglass used a simple, straightforward narrative style with a focus on the details of his life as a slave. Douglass was  the  important  leader  in  the  Abolitionism  movement.  Abolitionism  was  a  movement  to  end  slavery.  It  gained prominence  in  US  during  the  Civil  War. Frederick  Douglass was  the  most  prominent  African  American  abolitionist  and  an important leader in the movement.  Douglass devoted  his  life  to  abolish  slavery  but  his  work did not  end  when  in  1861  President  Lincoln  ended  the  institution  of slavery. Douglass fought for civil rights and to empower African Americans to develop their own skills and to take responsibility for their actions.  Douglass is essentially willing to die for his freedom. He believes that man was created to be free and utterly detests his condition as  a  slave. Freedom is  the  ultimate  gift  in Douglass's opinion,  and  he  suffers  through  extraordinary  obstacles  to  gain  his independence.  Frederick  Douglass has  been  called  the  father  of  the  civil  rights  movement.  He  rose  through  determination,  brilliance,  and eloquence  to  shape  the  American  nation.  He  was  an  abolitionist,  human  rights  and  women's  rights  activist,  orator,  author, journalist, publisher, and social reformer.

Comprehension: I  

1.    Who was Frederick Douglass?

Ans: - He was a slave boy.  

2.    What was the earlier name of Frederick Douglass?
Ans: - Frederick Augustine Washington Bailey.  

3.    When was he born?
Ans: - In 1817or 1818.

4.    Why was he sent to Baltimore?

Ans: - To be a house servant/child servant.

5.    Who taught him to read and write?
Ans: - His master's wife.  

6.    When did he escape from slavery?
Ans: - In 1938.  

7.    Where did he go after escaping from slavery?
Ans: - He went to New York City  

8.    Where was he born?
Ans: - Born in Tuckahoe.  

9.    Where is Tuckahoe?
Ans: - Tuckahoe is near Hillsborough, about 12 miles from Easton, in Talbot County, Maryland.  

10.    Why did he write "narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass."?
Ans: - Because he was such an impressive orator that numerous persons doubted if he had ever been a slave.  

11.    Name the autobiographical works of Frederick Douglass
Ans: - "My Bondage and my Freedom" and "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass".  

12.    Why didn't Frederick Douglass know his correct age?
Ans: - Because he has no authentic record.  

13.    What would the master look at the enquiries about the slave's birthday?
 Ans: - The master considered the enquiries about the slave was improper & impertinent & evidence of a restless spirit.  

14.    Who was Frederick Douglass’s mother?
Ans: - Harriet Bailey.  

15.    What was whispered about his father?

Ans: - It was whispered that his own master was his father.  

16.    When was he separated from his mother?
Ans: - When he was just an infant.  

17.    Why were the children separated from their mothers at an earlier age?
Ans: - To hinder the development of the child's affection of the mother for the child.  

18.    Who takes care of the separated children?
Ans: - An old woman who is too old for field labor.  

19.    What was the penalty to the field hand for not being in the field at Sunrise?
Ans: - A whipping.  

20.    How old was Douglass when he lost his mother?

Ans: - He was about seven year’s old.  

21.    Name the person who was believed to be both Douglass' father & master'?

Ans: - Captain Anthony.  

22.    Who are mulatto Children?
Ans: - A child with one white parent & the other black parent.  

23.    How did Douglass receive the tidings of his mother's death?
Ans: - As the death of a stranger.  

24.    Who was Anna Murray?
Ans: - Douglass's wife.  

25.    Why did Mr. Anthony acquire the name Captain Anthony?
Ans: - Because by sailing a craft on the Chesapeake Bay.  

26.    How many farms did him own?
Ans: - He owned two or three farms.  

27.    Who was Mr. Plummer?
Ans: - He was an overseer, a miserable drunkard, a profane swearer, & a savage monster.  

Comprehension: II  

1.    What kind of hardships did the slaves suffer at the hands of the slave holder and his mistress?

Ans: - The slaves suffer a lot of hardships at the hands of the slave holder and his mistress. They were a constant offence to their mistress.  She  was  forever  disposed  to  find  fault  with  them.  They  could  never  do  anything  to  please  her;  she  took  pleasure  in seeing them whipped. Especially, when she suspected her husband of showing greater concern towards his mulatto children than the  other  black  slaves.  To  please  the  mistress.  The  master  was  forced  to  sell  such  slaves  to  human  flesh-mongers.  The  only alternative to this cruel deed was to whip them himself or see one white son tie up his brother & ply the gory lash to his naked back.   

2.    What was Mr. Plummer? Give instances to show his ruthlessness.

Ans: - Mr. Plummer was an overseer. He was a miserable drunkard. A profane Swearer and a savage monster. He looked after Captain Anthony's farms. He always went armed with a cow skin and a heavy cudgel. He would cut and slash the women's heads so horribly that even masters would be enraged at his cruelty. He used to tie up to a joist and whip them upon to their naked backs till they were literally covered with blood. No words, No tears, No Give prayers, from his gory victim, seemed to move his iron heart  from  its  bloody  purpose.  The  louder  they  screamed  the  harder  he  whipped;  and  where  the  blood  ran  fastest,  there  he whipped longest. He could stop whipping only when he was tired.  

Comprehension: III  

1.    How does the passage comment on the dreadful experience of slavery?

Ans: - The passage reveals the emotional & physical torture slaves have to undergo at the hands of their masters. Right from the time of their birth, they were not allowed to have any sense of their identity, except the realization that they were inferior to the white children. Their birth dates or names of parents were not revealed. The children were separated from their mothers in infancy itself in order to avoid any bond forming between the mothers and the children. The mother would be sent to a distant farm and child was placed under the care of very old slave woman.  The children were made to do all kinds of tasks in the house and on the fields without any rest. They were not allowed to ask for any  favours. Impertinence or mistakes of any  kind resulted in their being  whipped till blood flowed on their backs. They  were deliberately  kept  ignorant.  The  mistress  would  find  fault  in  their  work  and  take  pleasure  in  punishing  them.  To  please  the mistress, the master was forced to sell his own children to human flesh mongers. Unless he would do that, he must not only whip them  himself,  but  see  one  white  son  tie  up  his  brother  and  play  the  gory  lash  to  his  naked  back.  Douglass  points  out  how  the masters  manipulate  the  circumstances  to  suit  their  Convenience.  Blacks  are  not  born  subhuman,  but  are  dehumanized  to  such heartless practices of the slave Owners.       

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