Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

Decent Essays

Lorenzo Rael Rael 1
Ms. Gnup
English 11, Period 6
4 November, 2015
Rhetorical Essay
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by Frederick Douglass, he tells his own personal story about what it was like to live as a slave. While living through the horrors of slavery, Douglass manages to educate himself, by teaching himself to read with the help of few. As Douglass matures, life only gets harder. However, his education brings him hope. Not only does Douglass read of abolition, giving him hope, he also learns the importance of his education. Frederick Douglass discovers that education is the key to the freedom of his people through realizing the inevitable power gap is created by ignorance.
The ignorance of slaves makes them incredibly vulnerable to oppression. Such great ignorance dispossesses slaves of their own personal, natural, individual identity. Slaves were deprived of basic knowledge of themselves, “I do not remember to have met a slave who could tell of his birthday.” (47). Douglass is speaking on how slaves had no accurate record of their age. He questions why “The white children could tell their ages” and “why [he] ought to be deprived… [He] was not allowed to make inquiries of my master…” (47). This basic information that is kept from them, but known by the White people makes the White people appear to be superior and the slaves inferior. Afterall, if you were an equal you would know your own age. This ignorance and their

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