Discussion Questions for Chapter 1 of Frederick Douglass’s Slave Narrative

  1. Why did slave owners want to keep slaves’ birthdays secret?
  2. Why is it important for Douglass to know his birthday?
  3. Who was Douglass’s father?
  4. Why didn’t Douglass know his mother?
  5. What did the slave owner do to keep the baby slaves on the plantation?
  6. How did the slave owner’s wife feel about the children that her husband fathered?
  7. Describe the relationship between Hester and Loyd Ned.


A handout with these questions is available here.