The autobiography of the life of Frederick Douglass gives us a glimpse into the life of a slave and eventually a freeman in the 1800's. Frederick knew that learning and knowledge make all the difference in the world, as Frederick Douglass proves this by changing himself from another man's slave into a widely respected writer. A person is not necessarily what others label him; the self is completely independent, and through learning you can move the unseen mountains. Culture, society, and common beliefs are our bridge to communication with one another. Douglass could never really explain all of what and how he felt about himself in his earlier slave days. He does, however, give a very accurate description of the life and times of a slave.
Our first peek of Douglass is as a small boy born into slavery in Tuckahoe, Maryland in approximately 1817, without a birthday, father, or any sort of identity. "I have no accurate knowledge of my age A want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood." (Douglass, p. 1) Forced to eat his meals of mush out of a trough, wearing nothing but a long, coarsely woven shirt, and being kept in complete mental darkness, Douglass was completely dehumanized even before he experienced the horrible violence of the slaveholders towards their slaves (Douglass, p. 6). Children were uprooted from the arms of their mothers, "before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it" (Douglass, p. 1) and sold to other slaveholders. .
Brutal whippings occurred for even the smallest imagined offense. Mr. Plummer was his first overseer and under him he would see his first look at slavery, as he would soon grow to know very well. "He would at times seem to take great pleasure in whipping a slave. I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood (Douglass, p.