Frederick Douglass Consumerism

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The concept of consumerism was first brought to my awareness in First Year Writing. I admit, before this intro course, I was indeed ignorant of the negative impacts that consumption had on society. FYS opened my mind to the dangers of over-consumption, and more importantly, helped me see beyond what meets the eye. Take for example, Disney, a seemingly innocent corporation, a company’s whose name is practically synonymous with the notion of childhood innocence. Upon initial judgement, one would assume that Disney is merely harmless family entertainment. Where in fact, if one looks beneath Disney’s visage of innocence, their true intentions are shockingly cynical. Disney’s cultural pedagogy embeds the concept of consumption into young susceptible …show more content…

In Frederick Douglass’s narrative essay titled “Learning to Read” he recalls his journey to literacy. Throughout the essay Douglass reveals how he learned to read and write, despite the fact that education was strictly prohibited to slaves. Initially, Douglass learned how to read through his mistress, but he later learned from the little white boys on the streets. As for learning to write, he often times observed ship carpenters and replicated the copy-books of his Master’s son. Frederick Douglass did not have the same opportunities students have today, yet despite his adversities, Douglass was able to become a literate slave, and ultimately free himself from slavery with the power of …show more content…

The focus of college or any education is about the experiences acquired through the process of learning. However, for the majority of society the new focus is now on the degree, which to many, represent the key to success. Hence, students now equate knowledge and intellect as something that can be readily purchased. Yet, the key to success lies within our actions. This very concept is derived from the Hsun Tzu’s short reading titled “Encouraging Learning”. In his work, the author explains the importance between “thought” and “study”. According to Tzu, one cannot accomplish anything without “study,” which can also be referred to as action. He argues that “study” is invaluable because it is through the process of action that results in the accumulation of experience and knowledge. As the prominent Chinese philosopher, Hsun Tzu puts its “…unless you pile up little steps, you can never journey a thousand li, unless you pile up streams, you can never make a river or sea” (7). Tzu emphasizes the importance of action and experience; the two concepts that bring forth new knowledge and

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