In Baltimore, Douglass's new mistress is Mrs. Auld, and she's a kind woman. Douglass has never seen anything like her before.
Mrs. Auld has never had a slave before, so she doesn't know that you're not supposed to treat them like human beings.
But there's more to it than that. Douglass has always been a little confused about how it was that white people were able to enslave black people. Suddenly he has an answer. Slaves are kept down because they don't know any better.
Douglass learns a new lesson about slavery: it doesn't just brutalize the slaves, it also brutalizes the masters too.
Douglass hadn't realized there was a movement of people working against slavery. As you can imagine, he's excited to learn about it. And when an Irish dockworker encourages him to run away to the North, he learns that there are places in the world where a slave can be free.
Sometimes, though, Douglass wonders if learning to read wasn't more of a curse than a blessing. The more he learns, the more it hurts to know that he's a slav