Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

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In his Narrative, Frederick Douglass compares his life on a plantation to his life as an urban slave in Baltimore. How were they different?

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Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Douglass was allowed a great deal more freedom in the city than as a plantation slave. His original slave mistress, Sophia Auld, started to teach him how to read, until she was warned by her husband not to do so. Even after she stopped instructing him in reading, Douglass bribed local boys into telling what the letters and words he saw around him were. He had access to these boys in the city, which he would not likely have had on the plantation. Douglass's life on the plantation was far more severe than his life in Baltimore, and, while being forced to do hard manual labor, he was under the supervision of strict and inhumane slave masters. When Douglass later returned to...

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