Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano

2598 WordsDec 30, 200311 Pages
Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall...freedom and slavery are mental states." This simple quote symbolizes the lives of Frederick Douglass and Olaudah Equiano. Both of which were slaves who tried to free themselves. Both Douglass and Equiano have wrote a narrative about their lives, however, each one is different in its own unique way. From the bonds of slavery on a plantation to the call of freedom from the north, his life was filled with hopes of improvement for both himself as well as his fellow slaves. Frederick Douglass was an unusual character. Even in the bonds of slavery, he didn't consider himself to be owned by anyone else. His mind and soul were his own…show more content…
Mr. Auld told his wife that teaching a slave to read "would make him discontented and unhappy." This statement only further whetted Fredrick's ambition to learn to read and write. His plan to get the local children to teach him was quite ingenious. Fredrick was also very dedicated to learning to write. The fact that he would practice with his young master's schoolbooks was very risky and daring. If he had been found out, he would have been severely punished for the crime of learning. Mr. Auld was right; Fredrick did become discontented and dreamed of a way to improve his standing in life. Fredrick also didn't keep his dream to himself. He taught other slaves how to read and even tried to form an escape party with his fellow slaves. Being able to read clearly changed Fredrick Douglass' life and gave him the courage to escape his bonds of slavery. Fredrick was also lucky in the fact that he was able to work in the city most of his time as a slave. Fredrick once compared a city slave to a freeman. City slaves almost always had enough to eat and looked respectable at all times because their masters wouldn't want to lose face in their society. The work also wasn't as hard for a city slave as a slave out on the plantations. The city slaves weren't worked from sun-up to sunset and were given decent quarters to sleep in. Some of the city slaves even developed a trade. Fredrick learned to work in shipyards as a
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