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Flashcards in Frederick douglass Deck (28)
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what is striking about the whipping of aunt Hester?
what can this be connected to?

-the amalgamation of the domestic sphere and pain and suffering
- Aunt Hester is tied
-she is anthropomorphised, in a similar way to Sethe is i beloved, her body is transformed into a cow as she hags from the meat joist, just like how sethe is turned into a cow when her milk is 'stolen'


how does Douglass emphasises the orality of the passage?

repetition of 'i remember'


Henry Louis Gates on fredrick douglass as an inidivual and as a rhetorician

Douglass will continue to be read and reread
-he was
Rhetorical man, black master of the verbal arts.
-Douglass is
our clearest example of the will to power as the will to write.


what does writing do for a slave according to Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The act of writing for the slave constituted the act of creating a
public, historical self, not only the self of the individual author
but also the self, as it were, of the race


how does Frederick emphases the ownership that he has over his work?

-subtitle 'written by himself'
- very self conscious writing style, often draws attention to the act of writing


how is the difficulty/ laborious of writing/ literacy explored in the text

-physicality of douglass learning to read/ write
-physically built, swaps, notes letters to build his vocab


what does katrina thompson say about slave songs that can be linked to the slave songs in the text

- slaves would sometimes add 'meaningless jargon' to their slave songs, which was a way of creating an alternative form of communication
-e.g. a song 'jenny shook her toe at me jenny shook her toe'


what would slave owners do to slave songs? (Thompson on Kemble)

In their attempts to control slaves and consturct the mythology of slave cheerfulness, slaveholders even sought to control song lyrics. … Frances Abbe Kemble… noted that she ‘heard that many of the masters and overseers… prohibit melancholy tunes or words, and encourage nothing but cheerful music


why is important that enslavers tried to stop the slaves from being upset? + examples in text

- enslavers attempting to control the language of the enslaved
- the slave who is asked by his master whether his master treats him well and is killed for telling the truth


what did Benston suggest was gained from linguistic omission and how can this be linked to the text?

- Benston draws attention to how the formerly enslaved would change their name to include a mysterious initial
-this initial wouldn't stand for anything, BUT was essential for the slaves sense of social and economic freedom
-this can be linked to the mysterious omission at the centre of the text- Douglass's escape.
-This gives him the narrative/ linguistic freedom required


what does Douglass say that Collins (an abolitionist) tells him in my bondage and my freedom

“Give us the facts,” said Collins, “we will take care of the philosophy.”


how does Garrison describe Douglass's intellect

in intellect richly endowed- in natural elowuence a progidy- in soul manifestly "created but a little lower than the angels"


what is problematic about Garrisons hyperbolic description of Douglass's natural intelligence

-this actually opposes with the Douglass's description of learning to write, which he describes as being a very hard and labourious process


what is the general purpose of the preface of a text? (according to Gerald Gennette)

ensure that a text is read properly


what happens when language of the enslavers no longer has power?

there is a decent into physical violence.
In the text key examples are the shooting of Demby, passage in Colombian orator, when Henry is tied up and refuses to cross his arms (after being accused of trying to escape)


what is the effect of Douglass echoing the whipping of Aunt Hester in chapter 8?

- emphasises the trauma, this vision will never leave him, he will transfer this first trauma onto further traumas
-emphasises the communicability: something specific to him would have happened to many others in the same way


connection between frederick douglass and Paradise Lost about feeling pain as a result of knowing goodness

-FD: when douglass is about to be sold and is worried about being sold to a bad place
-PL: when satan has just fallen in book 1 and the narrator says (Oh how unlike the place whence they fell)


days in which the series of events that led to the fight with covey took place

Friday: douglass beaten by covey
Saturday: meets sandy jenkins who provides him with the root.
sunday morning: fight with covey


why is the lead of to the fight significant

-theologically, the days echo the crucifixion/ resurrection of Christ
- this is integrated with the traditional African belief system provided by sandy and his root


connection between voices in the wasteland and Frederick douglass

-FD: shipyard voices are all appropriated and rendered annoymous, so that douglass can control them and remove power from them
-WL: no single authorial voice, just a series of fragmented voices. This is done to remove power and control from them as the single authorial voice is left powerless


What are the problematic features of Garrison's introduction? (4)

-he emphasises douglass's uniqueness/ as a supernatural talent
- universalising factor of his description of slaves
- encourages the text to be read more as a political pamphlet than an autobiography
- in some ways justifies Douglass's lack of good writing style, say that that given 'how few his opportunities to improve his mind since he broke his iron fetters- it is, in my judgement, highly creditable to his head and heart.'


garrison making the text into a political pamphlet

reader! are you with the man-stealers in sympathy and purpose, or on the side of their down-trodden victims? if with the former, then you are the foe of God and man


problematic features of Wendell Phillips letter preface

-compares Douglass to a lion
- says that Douglass's experiences in slavery are waht


what is the significance of Douglass signing his name both at the start and the end of the text?

-evokes the speech act e.g. how if a boss says 'you're fired' you will be unemployed.
- this speech act foregrounds Douglass's desire to gain full ownership over his text


what Barthes say in Photographic message on language and trauma. Which other narrative text(s) can this be connected to ?

-'Trauma is just what suspends language and blocks signification… the traumatic photograph… is the one about which there is nothing to say’
- The wasteland: no authorial voice, multilingual, all voices are lost
- Rape of the lock: the trauma of the 'rape' is why pope uses periphrasis/ highly metaphoric language as traditional language breaks down
-Paradise lost...? Maybe satan distorts language because of his trauma?


how can the image of gordon link to FD

inexpressibly of trauma/ suffering


what is the issue with focusing just of physical pain/ scars and why has Douglass perhaps not done this?

- a person is transformed into just a body
- scars are permanent
-Scars and wounds etc were inflicted bu their masters. If you define slaves by their scars you define a slave by their masters. Their identity becomes something that they cannot control


what does the whipping of aunt Hester do about language?

-raises questions about the representability of torture
- language appears to be resisted in this scene, as the language of pain is brought in on behalf of those experiencing it
- Frederick provides language for his aunts pain
-he uses other's pain to attempt to approach the subject of his own pain