Douglass Mini-Essay Chapter 1 & 2

Sample Thesis:

In the book titled ___________ written by _________, the author ________________ in order to ________________.


Sample Body Paragraph: You will need to do two, one for each chapter, each analyzing two pieces of evidence from your annotations. 

Sample assertion: In chapter one, he (description of what he does in chapter one

Evidence: For example, he describes a scene where “….,” which is important because…(commentary)

Commentary: Ultimately, he does this because….

Evidence: Furthermore, he… “…,” which is also significant/relevant because…(commentary)

Commentary: Moreover, he does this because…

Closure: All in all, Douglass wanted his reader to _________ that __________, and he utilized ___________ to accomplish that.


The autobiography entitled Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by Frederick Douglass, the author, wrote the book in order to narrate the life of slaves and the suffering that they went through in the hands of their masters.

In chapter one, the author also highlights the inhumane manner that their masters treated them. They were subjected to hard work, women were raped by their masters, and they were verbally and physically abused as a way of punishment. This abuse is evident when the author describes how he watched his Aunt Hester being whipped by his master as he verbally abused her. He states that his innocence ended the day he watched Aunt Hester being whipped almost to death by his master (Douglass, 1845). He also claims that being a product of the interbreeding between a master and a slave made matters worse since he would occasionally be picked on and whipped by his own master who is also his father as a way of him appeasing his jealous white wife (Douglass, 1845).

In Chapter two, the author illustrates on the hardship that the slaves had been subjected to and the poor working conditions that their masters provided. For example, he claims that they were offered clothes once a year and young children would survive for almost a year walking around naked. He also states how they would rest for very few hours which implies that they were overworked (Douglass, 1845). The author goes ahead to show how they hated their overseer who was cruel, and quick to whip them whenever he was provoked, Douglass states that they rejoiced after he died. This hatred is shown when he claims that they regarded Mr. Severe’s death as a way of God revealing His mercy on the slaves (Douglass, 1845).

All that Douglass wanted is for the reader to know that slavery harmed and destroyed many black families, and he utilized his simple and precise narration to accomplish his purpose.


Douglass, F. (1845). Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass: An American Slave Written by Himself. Boston: Anti-Slavery Office.