Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Essay

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In the 1800’s, one could not find many slaves who knew how to read or write. This was because many educated white men owned slaves and would not allow them to learn. By doing this, the slave owners felt like they were taking away their human rights, and in this period, slaves were not thought of as humans. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, there is a common theme throughout the book on the importance of education. Douglass was a slave for a good portion of his life, but he learned to read and write. He makes it obvious that his path to freedom is by learning these two skills, and if he wanted to help free other slaves, they needed to learn these skills as well. While showing that education is very important, Douglass also shows some disgust towards education because he begins to read about slavery. There is a paradox in this narrative, and that is that even though we know education makes Douglass more miserable in the short term, his desire to learn makes him happy in the long term. A paradox has two definitions but the one that fits this situation the most is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true.” I believe that throughout this narrative, Frederick Douglass shows that education is his driving force to freedom. Throughout the narrative, Douglass uses his reading and writing skills that he learned while living in Baltimore. After he begins learning
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