Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Chapter 9: Captain Auld

Explain how Captain Alud is a "slaveholder without the ability to hold slaves" and comment the events in the chapter.

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Even though most slaveholders had some redeeming features, Douglass identified not a single one in Master Thomas. He never performed a single noble act. He was mean and made no effort to conceal is cruelty. His meanness was matched by his cowardice and his impulsiveness. He was not effective at enforcing rules and commands. He (Captain Auld) had only recently come into having slaves and was not able to imitate those men who had owned slaves for a long time. Neither force nor fear nor fraud could compel his slaves to do what he wanted.