How did Mrs. Auld change and why did she change?
Mrs. Auld was initially very kind and soft-hearted when Douglass first came to her house and therefore, she willingly started to teach her. But with time she became very harsh because her husband continuously scolded her for teaching him. Finally, she lost her initial thought of slaves being human beings and restricted Douglass from all learning and reading activities fearing that the slaves could revolt if they began to comprehend the injustice, they are facing by becoming literate.
What plan did Douglass adapt to learn how to read now that Mrs. Hugh was no longer teaching him?
When Mrs. Hugs stopped teaching Douglass, he finally managed to learn how to read from poor local white boys by giving them bread in exchange. Till that time, he had already learned the alphabet so it was easier for him to learn reading.
What is ironic about this plan?
The irony of this plan is that white people were supposed to hate blacks but they were now helping a black boy which is an offense. Moreover, it is also ironic that they are doing this in exchange for bread which shows the poor economic conditions of some white people.
What did Douglass learn from the book, The Columbian Orator?
The main theme of the book was to provide a strong rational basis against slavery in the form of a dialogue between a master and a slave. Since the slave was able to convince his master that slavery is oppression that also helped him won his freedom, Douglass finally grasped the great injustice that was prevailing in society. The first time, he had a feeling of intense discontent.
How does Master Auld’s prediction about Douglass and learning come true?
Mrs. Hugs anticipated that if slaves become literate, they will finally revolt. This somehow became true when Douglass started to hate his masters after reading the book “The Columbian Orator” which contained a strong case of slavery in the form of a dialogue between a slave and a master.
How does Douglass learn the meanings of the words abolition and abolitionist?
Although, Douglass had heard of these words many times in discussions about slavery he was not able to understand them until he learned their meanings in a city newspaper.
What do the two Irishmen encourage Douglass to do? Why does he not trust them?
Douglass helped two Irishmen and when they learned about him being a slave, they advised him to run away. However, Douglass thought that it is very unusual for white men to help black people. So, they were maybe tricking him to get the reward from the owner for capturing a slave by tacking him. Therefore, he did not trust them but the idea of freedom stuck to his mind.
How does Douglass learn to write?
Douglass learned how to write by observing the ship’s carpenters while they were writing letters on lumber. Later he used to practice them on the walls and fences of the city. Moreover, he was engaged in a competition overwriting with two boys that ultimately helped him learn new letters.
How does Douglass trick the white boys into teaching him new letters?
Whenever Douglass encountered a boy about whom he knew that he can write, he used to say, that he can write as well. The most definite answer from these boys was, “I don’t believe you. Let me see you try it.” As soon as he wrote those words he learned at the shipyard, the other boys started to write different letters. In this way, according to his own words, he was able to learn that was not possible in any other way.