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
Many of us take education for granted and don’t learn to our fullest potential, but Fredrick Douglass soaked in every piece of information up because he knew it was his way out. “Learning to Read and Write” is a famous article based on what Fredrick Douglass went through to earn a valuable education while being enslaved. Author Fredrick Douglass, wrote “Learning to Read and Write”, published in 1845. Throughout the article, he takes us through different events he goes through while being enslaved. Douglass begins building his credibility with personal facts and successfully demonstrating logic and pathos appeal.
The difficulties and hardships of slaves in slavery in the American South explores the lives of slaves and what they went through. Slaves had rough education and faced physical pain every day. For example a couple of slaves are Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
In the essays, “Reading to Write” by Stephen King, “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie, “Learning to Read” Malcolm X, and “Learning to Write” by Frederick Douglas have three things in common. In each essay Reading has contributed towards the authors life leading to benefit from learning to read, allowing them to leave a legacy behind. In each essay the authors has thought their self how unlike Frederick Douglass.
Frederick Douglass in his narrative “Why I learned to Read and Write” demonstrates how he surpassed many obstacles along the way towards getting an education. These obstacles not only shaped Frederick’s outlook on life but also influenced him in his learning to read and write. Frederick’s main challenge was that of not being an owner of his person but rather a slave and a property to someone else.
With all the knowledge he was gaining, he began to comprehend everything around him. The things he was learning fascinated him, but the “more [he] read, the more [he] was led to abhor and detest [his] enslavers”(Douglass 35); however, that should not be viewed as a negative affect but a positive one. No one should want to be deceived for their entire life. This hatred that he built up motivated him to continue to further educate himself. As a result, he later motivated other slaves to earn an education by having “[availed] themselves to [an] opportunity to learn to read” (Douglass 69) by Douglass teaching them every Sunday. He became known as an inspirational person. Not many people are willing to go against what others believe, but Douglass was. His slave owner thought that it was “unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read” (Douglass 29), but that did not stop him from pursuing further knowledge. Education has a powerful effect that makes others fear that one has superiority over them one way or another. Slaves had their basic human rights taken away from them because slave owners wanted them to lack the ability to form an opinion on what was happening to them. Douglass had the option to form an opinion because he understood what was going on due to his comprehension of various situations due to the knowledge he was gaining. For this reason, education was
In the book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the author gives accounts of his life as a slave in the 19th century. The narrative also highlights the abolitionist movement in the US, giving details about slavery. It has important information regarding the wishes of the slaves to be set free. Issues such as slavery, economic and political alignments took center-stage in the US in the nineteenth century and the early 20th century. According to Douglass (2014), the slaves were exposed to vices such as inequality and favoritism in behaviors based on originality, economic and social status. The masters created societies by integrating ideas that certainly had no universal appeal. For purposes of this paper, I will also examine the narrative
Reading about Frederick Douglass 's struggle to learn to read and write reminded me of some difficulties I faced when I was also trying to learn. All throughout elementary school, I had to take a speech therapy class to help me learn to read. It was very difficult to learn how to read some words because of my speech impediment. However, I worked a little harder each day to sound words out right and before I knew it, I was able to read and write just as good as every other student. In a way, Douglass and I both had some difficulties we had to push through to be able to learn to read and write but if you work hard enough anything is possible.
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. Education gives hope for Douglass’s life since he began to truly understand what goes on in slavery. As he figured out more about the topic, his self motivation poured out hope in his life.
In both the inspiring narratives of Narrative in the Life of Fredrick Douglass by Frederick Douglass’s and in Incidents in the life of a slave girl by Harriet Jacobs the respective authors demonstrate the horrors and disparity of slavery in there own ways. They both use their unique experiences in the difference facets of slavery to show a very complete picture of the problems and atrocities of slavery.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is Frederick Douglass’s autobiography in which Douglass goes into detail about growing up as a slave and then escaping for a better life. During the early-to-mid 1800s, the period that this book was written, African-American slaves were no more than workers for their masters. Frederick Douglass recounts not only his personal life experiences but also the experiences of his fellow slaves during the period. This book was aimed at abolitionists, so he makes a point to portray the slaves as actual living people, not the inhuman beings that they are treated as. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, slaves are inhumanly represented by their owners and Frederick Douglass shines a positive light
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
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.
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.
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.