What are Douglass's feelings in chapter 5 of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass?

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caitlinm3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter five illustrates an important turning point in Douglass's life. Douglass begins the chapter describing the horrible living conditions as a child slave. However, when he is told he will be taken to Baltimore, his outlook on life completely changed. He was elated to find out he would be moving to the big city and taken away from the nightmare he was living as a slave on a rural plantation. He was very careful when cleaning himself and took pride in looking clean. Douglass looks back and knows this was his opportunity to leave the disgusting conditions on the plantation behind him and move on to a different, better life (although he would continue to be a slave). When he reached Baltimore and was greeted by a friendly, white face, Douglass realized that all whites are not to be thought of as terrible people. Douglass is aware of the major change in his life and is okay leaving everything behind on the plantation. He felt a sense of relief and contentment leaving for the big city, but also had a small sense of fearing the unknown.

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