Analysis Of Learning To Read By Frederick Douglass

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In the narrative ‘Learning to Read,’ Fredrick Douglass describes the journey he took to become literate. The account of his journey entailed many concepts, such as freedom, uncertainty, but overall the narrative explores the theme of ignorance. Ignorance can be defined as being unfamiliar or unaware of surroundings as well as the absence of information. Before continuing it is important to clarify that stupidity and ignorance are not related and cannot be used interchangeably. The concept of ignorance is used as a tool of slavery in the excerpt ‘Learning to Read’ of Douglass’ autobiography. Douglass’ narrative creates a visual of the reality of slavery and shows the relationship between freedom and knowledge and how slave holders used ignorance as a way to maintain power. In the excerpt, ‘Learning to read’ of Fredrick Douglass’ autobiography, he tells his experiences of slavery and how he got to where he is. To give some context and background the narrative begins by describing the initial relationship that he had with his master. He illustrates the success that he was having at learning to read and write and his relationship with the master’s wife. The mistress, as she was called, was tender-hearted, in Fredrick’s words, and taught him various things and encouraged him to learn, which was unusual at this point in history. Slaves were typically kept from learning to read and write for reasons we will get into later. The relationship and privileges the Fredrick experienced
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