Why Is Frederick Douglass Not A Benevolent Master

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From the beginning, Douglass’ life was a struggle; especially since his first master, Captain Anthony, and overseer, Mr. Plummer, were both merciless beings. The title “Captain” was thought to have come from Anthony’s time sailing the Chesapeake Bay. Described as “a cruel man, hardened by a long life of slaveholding”, Captain Anthony would often take sadistic pleasure in torturing Douglass’s Aunt by tying her up and whipping her until she bled. Mr. Plummer also took part in these heinous acts. He was “a miserable drunkard, a profane swearer, and a savage monster.” At times, even Anthony had to stop Mr. Plummer from beating a slave too hard.

Frederick Douglass was born on a farm, bound for a harsh life as a slave. In his lifetime, he had two masters, Captain Anthony and Master Hugh. Master Hugh was the second slave owner that Douglass had and he was no better than Captain Anthony. Based on the text, I can infer that Master Hugh was not a benevolent master. He prevented Douglass from learning to read and write, most likely because many white people back then believed that they had power over blacks by depriving them of their education. According to the excerpts, when Frederick first heard of
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However, he did not start to ponder what it meant to be a slave until he was what he guessed as 12 years old. He said, “the thought of being a slave for life began to bear heavily upon my heart.” It made Frederick “regret his own existence and wish himself dead.” His status as a slave affected him greatly. Douglass was not able to learn traditionally in a schoolhouse so he decided to come up with his own way of learning to read and write. This may have affected him while he was younger but it did not discourage him, as Douglass continued to hope for his freedom one day. It did not stop his efforts in learning, but rather propelled him forward and made him even more determined to
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