The Life of Frederick Douglass

 Description Choose ONE of the following topics as the focus of your analysis: Family—What lessons does Douglass draw from the account of his family origins concerning the policy and effect of slavery on slave families? Throughout his life how does Douglass attempt to replace these foundational family relationships with other potential father, mother, or sibling figures? Community—How does Douglass represent himself in relation to community? To what degree is he a part of or isolated from these communities; to what degree is he isolated from them.How is Douglass’s experience of slavery different in different locations and under different masters and mistresses? What is universal to his experience of slavery in all of these locations? Brutality and Resistance—What do the accounts of physical and emotional brutality tell us about the institution of slavery (i.e. beating of Aunt Hester, shooting of Demby)? How do slaves both passively and actively resist their masters (i.e. Douglass’s resistance to Covey)? Why is it essential for slaveholders to deprive slaves of their humanity? Education—What significance does Douglass see in his introduction to literacy while living with Hugh and Sophia Auld? How does Douglass pursue education, and how does his education impact his thoughts and actions? How is ignorance used as a tool of slavery, and how can knowledge serve as the path to freedom? Corruption—How does slavery corrupt white slaveholders (i.e. Sophia Auld) with irresponsible power, and how does slavery corrupt the overall morals and culture of Southern society? Religion—How does the Narrative develop a distinction between true Christianity and false Christianity? How does slaveholding pervert the “Christianity of Christ” and turn slaveholders (i.e. Thomas Auld and Edward Covey) into religious hypocrites? (Note: make sure to read the Appendix) Dehumanization—By what means does Edward Covey endeavor to “break” Douglass, and how does Douglass explain his own brokenness? How does Douglass’s apostrophe to ships on the Chesapeake Bay exemplify his desperation? Why is it essential for slaveholders to deprive slaves of their humanity and treat them like animals? Gender—Throughout the Narrative, Douglass possess a desire to prove he is not only a human but also a “man.” What does manhood mean to Douglass? How is slavery experienced differently by men and by women, and how does Douglass use these assumptions about gender to argue against slavery?