From what did Frederick suffer the most as a young child in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It was the cold which caused Frederick the most suffering when he was little.

Frederick Douglass recalls that as a child, he was seldom whipped and "suffered little from any thing else than hunger and cold".  He says that he "suffered much from hunger, but much more from the cold". 

Fredrick remembers that children on Colonel Lloyd's plantation were kept "almost naked - no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing...but a coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to (the) knees".  In the winter, he felt he "must have perished with cold", and, on the coldest nights, having no bed, he used to steal a bag which was used for carrying corn to the mill.  He would huddle in this bag on the "cold, damp, clay floor, with (his) head in and feet out".  Frederick remembers that his feet would become so cracked from the constant exposure to frost that painful, ugly gashes would form, large enough so that a writing utensil might fit in them (Chapter V).

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