Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

Decent Essays
In Frederick Douglass 's first autobiography, "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass”, he provides a graphic portrayal of his childhood and disturbing experiences as a slave as well as his eventual escape to freedom. Douglass went through physical abuse, starvation, and mental fatigue during his youth, yet through unimaginable circumstances he was able to overcome everything and become a writer, newspaper editor, and most of all one of the most influential abolitionist. In telling his story, Douglass paints a realistic picture of slavery. Douglass 's narrative spells out the slaveholders ' tactics in simple terms while highlighting the moral inefficiencies and the damaging effects of slavery on both the slave and the slaveholder…show more content…
However, Douglass tells us that through pseudoscience and the prevention of slaves from learning how to read and write gave the white slave-owners tangible evidence for their findings. Douglass continues saying that the inability of slaves to read and write made them dependent on their owners. Slave-owners understood that if slaves became educated, that would be the first step to dissent (Douglass 20). By controlling the slave’s education, they were able to control what the rest of America knew about slavery. Until slaves like Frederick Douglass came around, the common northerner had little to no idea what slaves actually went through. While on one end slave-owners did their best to deprive slaves of education, on the other side, Douglass constantly stresses the importance of slaves acquiring knowledge and education in any way possible. While in Baltimore, Douglass comes to the realization of just how important education is. His master, Mr. Auld, becomes angry with his wife when he discovers she is trying to teach Douglass how to write. This is a life changing moment for Douglass and from then on, he understood that education was linked with freedom. He would go to extremes to educated himself. Douglass would walk the streets of Baltimore with a book, and a piece of bread. He describes how he would meet up with young white boys and trade his loaf of bread for tips on how to read (Douglass
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