Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

Decent Essays

It is sometimes thought that language, the organization of things into symbolic categories, precedes complex thought. The process of freeing a slave is indicative of such. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, written by Frederick Douglass, demonstrates the stages by which a slave had acquired language, and used it to process ideals of his own freedom and role within increasing contexts. Each stage of Douglass ' shift in the view of education was constricted by a boundary of increasing abstraction, which allowed for higher-order conceptual understanding. An ignorant slave, by and large, notices what is immediately before him, and feels a base revulsion to the practice. It was the impetus of the slave owner to keep slaves in this level, unable to express their own unease. The initial brush with education allowed Douglass to express why he found himself in his predicament, but the self-centered motivation could not bring him to take on this courageous feat. As the boundaries of his world view grew, he began to recognize how seemingly impenetrable and dichotomous the dehumanizing system that entraps him is to his own goal. However, it is this hopelessness coupled with empathy for his fellow slaves that encouraged him to develop a set of high-minded religious ideals that transcended beyond his individual consequence. This gradual shift that Frederick Douglass experienced in how education affected his reality reflected the stages of his education itself, and the complexity

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