Education In The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass

1067 Words5 Pages
An education often opens new doors for people, but how does a lack of an education affect other people? What causes such a stark difference between people with knowledge and people no knowledge at all? In the Narrative of Frederick Douglass an American Slave we can see that Douglass is more intelligent than the other slaves on the plantation he is living on due to his hidden ability to read. With his level of education, he is able to see the brutal mistreatment of slaves and is unable to look at things the same way when he was an uneducated slave. The slaves on the plantation do not know how to read and therefore do not view being a slave the way Douglass views it. The level of education of the slaves on the plantation allow them to be manipulated by their masters. In many situations during the 1800s when slavery was prominent we can see that education holds power in society. Slave masters were educated and due to this, they were able to exert control over the slaves on the plantation. Douglass was self-educated and was able to analyze slave behavior and see slavery occur firsthand as a slave himself. In the book, we can see how the slave’s ignorance is actually bliss from the perspective of Douglass, how information like knowing how to read was withheld from the slaves and why and why slave-owners preferred non-educated slaves to educated ones.

Throughout the Narrative of Frederick Douglass, we can see Douglass state in the Narrative that learning how to read changed his
Open Document