- How did Mrs. Auld change and why did she change?
- What plan did Frederick adopt to learn how to read now that Mrs. Auld was no longer teaching him?
- Why is it ironic that he bribed the little white boys to teach him to read?
- What irony does Frederick find in this statement: “It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country”? (p. 54)
- What did Frederick learn from the book “The Columbian Orator”?
- How does Master Auld’s prediction about Frederick and learning come true?
- How does Frederick learn the meanings of the words abolition and abolitionist?
- What do the two Irishmen encourage him to do? Why does he not trust them?
- How does Frederick learn to write?
- How does he trick the white boys into teaching him new letters?
“Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her [Mrs. Auld] of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness” (pp. 52-53).
“The first step had been taken. Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no precaution could prevent me from taking the ell” (p. 53).
“I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out” (p. 55).
“White men have been known to encourage slaves to escape, and then, to get the reward, catch them and return them to their masters” (p. 57).