Learning To Read And Write By Frederick Douglass Analysis

analytical Essay
779 words
779 words

In the essay “Learning to Read and Write,” Frederick Douglass illustrates how he successfully overcome the tremendous difficulties to become literate. He also explains the injustice between slavers and slaveholders. Douglass believes that education is the key to freedom for slavers. Similarly, many of us regard education as the path to achieve a career from a job. Education and freedom are inseparable. Douglass, a young slave, is fortunate to learn the alphabet from his sympathetic Mistress Hugh. However, his Master Hugh perceives that his wife educates Douglass; then, he forbids his wife from teaching him to preserve their slaveholders’ power. Mrs. Hugh loses her kindness to become a cruel slave owner; she deprives Douglass’s opportunities …show more content…

Without being educated, slavers endure dehumanization and the control of their slaveholders. As a result, Douglass is motivated to get literate with ingenious strategies. He constantly bribes the “little white boys” and the “poor white children” who live closely with him to teach him reading with extra bread (Douglass 62). His writing lessons are from the boys who can compete with him in writing letters, Master Thomas’s book, and ship-yard. Along with his reading’s improvement, he comprehends the injustice between slaves and slaveholders from the books. A book “The Columbian Orator”, which provokes him the critical thinking about slavery and freedom. Through reading the Sheridan’s speeches that are from the same book, he claims, “[w]hat I got from Sheridan was a bold denunciation of slavery, and a powerful vindication of human rights” (Douglass 62). Sometimes he listens the discussion of abolition even though he does not really understands it. Until he gets a city paper that allows him to pray for “the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia” (Douglass 63), he understands the meaning of abolition. Being literate helps him understand the extensive knowledge, which is ready for …show more content…

The first and second year after moving from China to the United States, I was afraid to talk to strangers because my English was not very well. I had to depend on my husband for dealing with my personal business, such as making a doctor’s appointment, calling to the bank, or questioning to DMV officers. Douglass says, “being a slave for life began to bear heavily upon my heart” (62). For myself, being a dependent and helpless adult is a shame. Moreover, I lacked of extra money to go to school to improve my English. Thus, I stayed home all the time to avoid embarrassment of talking to strangers. After a while, I realized that improving English speaking skills are the essential to gain my self-confidence. So, I spent time to read various articles on the internet and watched English dialogues’ videos on YouTube. As a non-English speaking immigrant living in the U.S., I inevitably encountered a series of difficulties to integrate myself into a new

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how douglass is motivated to get literate with ingenious strategies. he bribes the "little white boys" and "poor white children" who live closely with him to teach him reading with extra bread.
  • Describes how douglass experienced the obstacles to get education when he was a slave; non-english speaking immigrants struggled with learning english in the united states.
  • Explains that education helped them gain confidence, and they decided to go to college to get an accounting degree.
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