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Analysis Of ' The Median Isn 't The Message '

Decent Essays
Heart and Mind Combined in “Learning to Read”
In the essay “The Median Isn’t The Message” Stephen Jay Gould states that the “Heart and head are focal points of one body, one personality” (166). Gould’s idea that the heart and head are of one body are also shared in Fredrick Douglas’s essay “Learning to Read”. Douglas demonstrates Gould’s idea by sharing his struggles to become educated as a black slave in the 1800’s. In his essay, Douglas’s links heart and mind by showing his passion for learning and by his appeal to people 's emotions for encouraging them to question slavery.
Fredrick Douglas demonstrates the unity of heart and mind by his passion for learning. His appetite for knowledge all started when his mistress taught him the alphabet. She gave him the basic tools to learn and once she had “given [him] the inch, and no precaution could prevent [him] from taking the ell” (127). When he had the tools to learn, it ignited a passion to further his education. Because it was unlawful to educate a slave during this time period, Douglas’ master was fearful of giving him opportunities to learn, therefore, “[he] was narrowly watched. If [he] was in a separate room any considerable length of time, [he] was sure to be suspected of having a book . . . however, was too late” (126). Even though Douglas was heavily watched it did not stop him from finding new ways to continue his learning. He stole bread so that he could go into town to trick “poor white children” into giving him
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