The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Pdf fan
Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Old Barney and Young Barney Symbol Analysis

Old Barney and Young Barney Symbol Icon
The father-and-son pair of slaves who maintain Colonel Lloyd’s stable represent the unpredictable and unreasonable demands slaveholders make of their slaves. The Barneys are held accountable for everything that displeases the Colonel, and cannot speak up to defend themselves or their conduct.

Old Barney and Young Barney Quotes in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

The The Narrative of Frederick Douglass quotes below all refer to the symbol of Old Barney and Young Barney. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Self-Destructive Hypocrisy of Christian Slaveholders Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Narrative of Frederick Douglass published in 1995.
Chapter 3 Quotes

On Old Barney and Young Barney: “No excuse could shield them, if the colonel only suspected any want of attention to his horses—a supposition which he frequently indulged, and one which, of course, made the office of old and young Barney a very trying one. They never knew when they were safe from punishment. They were frequently whipped when least deserving, and escaped whipping when most deserving it.”

Related Characters: Frederick Douglass (speaker), Colonel Edward Lloyd, Old Barney and Young Barney
Related Symbols: Old Barney and Young Barney
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

In addition to recounting stories of inhumane cruelty towards slaves, Douglass tells anecdotes in which cruelty was spurred by lies and arbitrary whims. Any slave with tar found on his or her person was accused of attempting to enter the fruit garden (which had a tarred fence). Similarly, the two slaves who took care of Lloyd's excellent horses were often accused of negligence, regardless of whether they neglected Lloyd's horses or not. Their master was able to falsely accuse them of shirking their duties whenever that suited his whims. This story does not only illustrate the uncertainty that plagued slaves' daily lives; it also exposes the falsehoods delivered by slaveowners, and it suggests that Douglass's writing is in a separate moral sphere, one devoted to truth as well as justice.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Narrative of Frederick Douglass quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Narrative of Frederick... LitChart as a printable PDF.
The narrative of frederick douglass.pdf.medium

Old Barney and Young Barney Symbol Timeline in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

The timeline below shows where the symbol Old Barney and Young Barney appears in The Narrative of Frederick Douglass. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
The Self-Destructive Hypocrisy of Christian Slaveholders Theme Icon
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Truth and Justice Theme Icon
...also kept a luxurious stable, under the care of a father-and-son team of slaves named Old Barney and Young Barney . Whenever the Colonel notices the slightest problem with his riding equipment, he blames the... (full context)