Literacy In The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass was an American slave who wrote The Narrative of Frederick Douglass in1845, he demonstrated that literacy and being free was linked. He also shows that literacy was not permitted to African slaves. In addition, Douglass shows how he was introduced to the literacy by his mistress Sophia Auld. But for him to keep learning how to read and write it was going to be a challenge since Sophia’s husband master Hugh Auld rejected the idea that she continues giving him lessons. Master Auld warns his wife “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell.” His master Auld showed Douglass that literacy was very important. Then Douglass understood that literacy was the way out from slavery to freedom. He knew that the denial of literacy of black man gave the power to the white man to submit them to slavery. The origins of literacy show that even great famous philosophers from the 18th century like “Kant, Hume, Hegel—illiteracy was the basis for arguing that slaves were subhuman, since man’s capacity for reason (as reflected in literacy)”. Douglass understood that becoming literate would show the white man that slaves are humans and not beasts. When Douglass gained knowledge in how to read and write, he felt that his capacity…show more content…
Douglass could access literacy in every job assignment that white people would give him. He took control of the situations where he was dominated by white people and made every situation a teaching lesson to learn how to read and write. Moreover, Douglass could obtain lessons from little white boys who thought that they were superior by knowing how to read and write not knowing that they were teaching Douglass. The fact that Douglass learned how to read and write changed his way of thinking because he was not complying with slavery. He was capable to use reasoning better and comprehend all the unjustified laws that make him a slave. He had another view of his environment with no way
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