In the 1800s, for a slave to know how to read and write was not only unheard of, but illegal. Frederick Douglass was born a slave in rural Talbot County, Maryland. For about seven years, he received reading lessons from his mistress Hugh, but that all changed as soon as she commenced her duties as a slaveholder. The once kind hearted woman was changed into a woman to be feared. She stopped teaching Douglass how to read and would monitor his whereabouts in her home to ensure that he was not reading anything. According to Mistress Hugh, “education and slavery were incompatible with each other” (Douglass, 33).
Human slavery requires ignorance, just as an individual’s freedom, from oppression, requires knowledge attained by education. To maintain order and control over slaves, slavery demands ignorant slaves; thus, keeping slaves ignorant prevents slaves from recognizing the empowering value of education and education’s ability to liberate slaves from the effects of ignorance. Frederick Douglass’s pursuit of education helped him discover the dark, hidden truths of slavery in his article, “How I Learned to Read and Write.” Thus, the pursuit of education inspires a desire for freedom.
The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
In many countries living in extremely poor conditions, not only is basic health an issue but also the lack of education. Although it is a necessity, “more than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school and 759 million adults are illiterate” (Rights to Education 1). The deprivation of education should be taken serious if a change is wanted. People need to become aware of how important education is and the benefit that it has. Douglas and Malala struggled to gain an education in order to resist control by others, which affected their lives in multiple ways; however, they were able to reveal the value of education to all.
The power of education is a main theme within A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass 's experiences lead him to recognize its great power and to believe that education is a key in our life. It has the power to open all doors while providing us with several opportunities. Education makes the difference; it expands the human mind since the more we know the more enlightened we are. It makes us free and it avoid us to be enslaved, too. However, literacy turns out to be not only bliss, but also painful. Indeed, while learning to read Frederick becomes more and more aware of the injustices of slavery, and this leads him to regret this knowledge “Learning how to read had become a curse rather than a blessing” ( Douglass ) .
N-e-w B-e-t-f-o-r-d, this what was Fredrick Douglass read when he stepped off the boat to the north. Just reading those words was an accomplishment. In his book The Narrative and Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave he details his experiences where knowledge is very key. Douglass shows how knowledge gained him the ultimate reward of freedom.
Frederick Douglass was a slave, who was owned by Mr and Mrs Hughes. He grew up knowing nothing about slavery and not knowing how to read or write, but his “mistress” or Mrs.Hughes suggested that he was taught. Mrs.Hughes began to teach him the basics like the alphabet, but Mr.Hughes did not allow this to happen and immediately told Mrs,Hughes to stop. With Mr.Hughes disapproving of Mrs.Hughes for teaching Douglass to read she stopped giving Douglass lessons, but this did not stop him from finding another way to
In Frederick Douglass's essay "Learning to read and write” he recalls the journey to enlightenment showcasing the emotions of joy, hunger, heartache and hope. For example learning to read sparked an unstoppable joy for knowledge. In addition the discovery of that knowledge found Douglass hungry for more. Also the quest for intelligence came at a price causing him a great amount of heartache. Finally a simple thought of the future brought the hope that ultimately inspired him to persevere and succeed in learning to read and write.
Douglass states: “The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers. I could regard them in no other light than a band of successful robbers, who had left their homes, and gone to Africa, and stolen us from our homes, and in a strange land reduced us to slavery” (Douglass 51). Reading and writing opened Frederick Douglass’s eyes to the cause of the abolitionist. He became knowledgeable about a topic that white slave owners tried to keep hidden from their slaves. Literacy would eventually impact his life in more ways than what he could see while he was a young slave under Master Hugh’s
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.
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
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in rural Talbot County and he served a family in Baltimore. After escaping to the North in 1838, he settled in Bedford, Massachusetts, where he became active in the abolitionist movement. His mistress was kind she taught him the letters of Alphabet and she always instruct him and one day she changed and suddenly stopped teaching him because of the inequality of the people. A form of EOF student stated “For Douglass, gaining knowledge was more of a curse than a blessing because, as a slave, education made him aware that he had absolutely no alternatives to his condition.” I disagree because education is important, he could help other slaves, and he could break off from the black stereotype.
Douglass for example emphasized the importance of education for slaves. Douglass is a first had observer of the strategy of slave owners to keep their slaves ignorant. By keeping slave uneducated they are unable to express the horrible things that happen to them to the world. Hugh Auld forces his wife to stop teaching Douglass to read (auld stopping teaching quote) , so Douglass teaches himself. For him learning to read was a major turning point in his quest for freedom and it enabled him to put out his book, which would inspire many to turn against slavery.
Education Determines Your Destination Education is the light at the end of the tunnel, when Frederick uses it he discovers hope. In the story the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick goes through many struggles on his path to freedom, showing us the road from slavery to freedom. At the beginning of the book, Douglass is a slave in both body and mind. When the book ends, he gets both his legal freedom and frees his mind. The path to freedom was not easy, but it got clearer when he got an education.