According to his Narrative, how does Frederick Douglass's life in Baltimore differ from that on the plantation? Quote from the book The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

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Douglass was born on a plantation and, as such, did have some limited contact with his family members, though far less than other former slaves have reported when telling their stories. He has very few memories of his mother aside from the rare visit in the middle of the night. His life on the plantation is his very first glimpse of cruelty, as he observes his aunt being whipped.

Life in Baltimore is better in some ways and worse in others. It is here that Douglas first learns to read and the importance of being literate is impressed upon him. In fact, Douglas says that had he never been moved to Baltimore, he would have likely never escaped or even felt the need to do so.

It was, however, also a more grueling experience. Life for slaves was more physically demanding and demeaning the more metropolitan the area they lived in. Baltimore slave-masters were particularly cruel and punishing, and they did not suffer insubordination lightly. From here, Douglas was sent to a slave-breaker, a man specifically designated to break the wills of slaves. These were some of the lowest points in Douglass's life.

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Douglass's life in Baltimore differs greatly from his life on the plantation.  When Douglass goes to live with the Aulds in Baltimore, he (for a while) is given the opportunity to learn to read and write.  On the planation, he never had such opportunities and was only responsible for doing small errands.  After Mrs. Auld is convinced that it is a sin to teach Douglass how to read and write, Douglass is sent around on errands throughout the town.  He learns that there are little boys around who are willing to teach him for the price of a few tidbits, so he is able to continue his learning. 

In later years, Douglass is able to learn the caulking trade in Baltimore and becomes a skilled worker whereas on the plantation he performs no particular tasks.

It should also be mentioned, however, that in both Baltimore and on the planation, Douglass suffered from discriminatory acts, just in different ways.

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