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    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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    1) What is the significance of names and naming people in the Narrative?

    2) Where is cited evidence of this found in the text?

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    1-2) As you assess the implications of symbolic names within the piece, I find them to be quite evocative.
    For example, an obvious one is Severe, the overseer. His name is highly symbolic since most overseers were extremely "severe" in their dealing with slaves and the physical brutality imposed with the unfair power dynamics of race and class.

    Another example of symbolic names is the injustice exerted by Mr. Austin Gore. As a "first-rate overseer," his name exudes the symbolism and irony to denote his character traits. Since Douglass admits, "... killing a slave, or any colored person,... is not treated as a crime, either by the courts or the community" (p. 41), it shows that these men's names were highly representational of the treatment they inflicted.

    Another description shows the "gore" and severe" treatment by the plantation owners and staff as "It is better that a dozen slaves suffer under the lash, than that the overseer ...

    Solution Summary

    The significance of names and naming people in the Narrative is supported by textual evidence.

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