Log: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
1. On page one of Douglass’s memoir, he writes “The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege” (Douglass 1). Via Douglass's short, yet deeply meaningful recollection, of a simple childhood state of nescience, he conveys that there is often wisdom found within the ignorance of children. Although the color of their skin differed, Douglass’s recollection revealed only his confusion concerning the differing privileges of black and white children in the midst of his childhood enslavement. The confusion Douglass experienced was that of ignorance (of the role of black people in the pre-emancipated South), but also that of great wisdom, wisdom that only a child may be graced with.
2. Douglass's Chapter 2 quote, “There must be no halting; every one must be at his or her post . . . Mr. Severe, the overseer, used to stand by the door of the quarter, armed with a large hickory stick and heavy cowskin, ready to whip any one who was so unfortunate as not to hear, or, from any other cause, was prevented from being ready to start for the field at the sound of the horn” (Douglass 11). The imagery in Douglass's matter-of-fact yet extremely descriptive summary of the slaves morning duties and consequences of disobedience reveals the truly brutal nature of Douglass’s and his peers enslavement. Though basic in nature, Douglass’s simple, almost cold and clinical description of the treatment of slaves conveyed the hopeless nature of enslavement and suffering to the reader.
3. As Douglass explains the fate of a fellow slave, he explains, “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 18). Douglass’s suddenly harsh tone throughout his explanation captures the fear and uncertainty of him and his fellow slaves, knowing they could be instantly “snatched away” like their unfortunate peer. The harshness of Douglass’s tone,