To retrieve food Douglass sometimes lets Thomas horse run away to a neighbor

To retrieve food douglass sometimes lets thomas horse

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nearby farms. To retrieve food, Douglass sometimes lets Thomas' horse run away to a neighbor- ing plantation, obtaining a full meal at the other farm while fetching the horse 15 . After several in- stances like this, Thomas Auld decides that this behavior is unacceptable, and Douglass is sent to work for a man named Edward Covey. Edward Covey was described by Douglass as a poor farm-renter who had a reputation for "breaking" young, misbehaving slaves. Many masters would send their slaves to Covey in an at- tempt to end their resisting or rebellious behavior 16 . Covey was unique because, unlike most slave owners, he worked in the fields alongside his slaves, earning the nickname "the snake" , be- cause he would often sneak through the fields to catch slaves that were not working. Douglass moves to Covey's plantation in January of 1833, where he begins working on plantation fields for the first time. Covey works Douglass to the bone, giving him difficult physical tasks to com- plete in a variety of different weather conditions. Covey regularly whips Douglass as punishment for his "awkwardness" 17 . Under Covey's control, Douglass begins to retract; Covey's use of these dehumanizing tactics "breaks" Douglass, to the point where Douglass once again considers end- ing his own life. He asks of God's existence and, if he exists, why he was made a slave. He be- gins to accept his defeat, saying, " Mr. Covey succeeded in breaking me. 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 14 Ibid, 126-127. 15 Ibid, 135-136. 16 Ibid, 137-138. 17 Ibid, 139-143.
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Katie Holmquist 6 closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!" 18 . This expression of defeat is a direct example of the relation between education and humanity; when Douglass is degraded and dehumanized by Covey, his ability to be an intellectual, free-thinking being is subdued. Douglass continues to convey this man's cruelty by telling the audience of an instance where Douglass, incapacitated by the day's heat, is savagely beaten by a disappointed Covey. After the beating, Douglass flocks to the house of Thomas Auld to request protection from Covey. Auld cold-heartedly tells him that he must go back to Covey's in the morning, for [Auld] would lose the whole year's wages. He threatens to hurt Douglass even more if he does not com- ply with this order 19 . Douglass heads back to Covey's, but spends the day hiding in the woods to avoid a harsher whipping. In the woods, he sees Sandy Jenkins, a slave who he had met previ- ously. Jenkins has a free wife that lived near Covey, and Jenkins invites Douglass to come stay with him. Jenkins tells Douglass that he must return to Covey's plantation, but gives him ". .. a certain root , which, if I would take some of it with me, carrying it always on my right side , would render it impossible for Mr. Covey, or any other white man, to whip me. He said he had carried it for years; and since he had done so, he had never received a blow, and never expected
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