City vs. Country
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
No slave wants to live on a plantation in the country, and Douglass is somewhat luckier than most in this regard. For much of his life, he lives in Baltimore, where slaves are treated better, and which is an easier place from which to escape to freedom. In the country slaves are often whipped brutally, and they are rarely given enough food or clothing. Slave owners in the city would be ashamed for their neighbors to see their slaves going without enough food or clothing. In the city, Douglass learns to read and meets a wide variety of people who help him on his road to freedom: the white children who help him learn to read and write, the sailors who teach him a trade, and people from the North who show him that not all whites are slave owners.