Study Questions for Douglass
1. Why does Douglass emphasize, and repeat, at the beginning of his narrative the fact that he never saw his mother in the daylight? More generally, what strategies does Douglass use to capture the emotions of his reader?

2. Why does a slave whose master is also his father suffer particular hardship, according to Douglass?

3. Study the Aunt Hester incident related on page 888. What does Douglass suggest is his master's underlying motivation in whipping Aunt Hester? Why does he call his experience of this incident "the blood-stained gate"? How is this "gate" similar (as both a narrative strategy and a physical site) to the prison-door with which Hawthorne begins The Scarlet Letter?

4. How does Douglass use the sailboats on Chesapeake Bay symbolically on page 900? 

5. Evaluate the psychological impact of Douglass's fight with Covey (903-04) on both Douglass and the reader. What does Douglass mean when he says "the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact" (904).

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