“Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave”

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The narrative essay of the “Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave” describes personal accounts Paul experienced as a slave. Cruel and unjust treatment done to him by his masters gave him to a strong desire to learn how to read and write in any possible way by being resourceful and be determined to learn. However, Douglas expressed “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather a blessing” and “I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity” (4); wherein he regrets learning and he also illustrated why he considered knowledge as a curse because he learned about freedom did not benefit him at all. In my case, I can also say I regret some things I learned in the past that I know would made me happier if I did not learned them at all. At age twelve, Douglas became a slave in the household of Mr. Hugh. Mrs. Auld was very kind and considerate when Douglas met her, because it was the first time having a slave in the household. She even taught him the A B C’s but Mr. Auld forbade instructing him. However, in the later part of the story, she changes into a wicked mistress. Mr. Auld expressed “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world” (1) and this revelation was an eye opener of freedom awaits him. Mr. Auld tells his wife that if a slave was taught to read, it will cause Paul to be not satisfied and sad because he will yearn for freedom. Paul learned that learning to read is the key to his freedom. He was longing for freedom because he was treated badly. I am so impressed with the effort he put forth learning how to read and be a good writer. However, he regrets learnin... ... middle of paper ... ...demonstrates that my experience did not benefit me from knowledge because I felt upset that if I have not known science, I would not doubt and my trust in God would not be at stake. Our knowledge is a key to our success and happiness in our life to give us personal satisfaction. Knowledge is power but not always. Sometimes our self-awareness and growth as an individual gives us negative thoughts that make us want to go back to undo it. Everyone wants to unlearn a part in our life that brought us pain and problems. Good or bad experiences brought by true wisdom can be used for our self-acceptance, self-fulfillment and these experiences would make us stronger as we walk to the road of our so called “life”, but Douglas’s and my experience about knowledge confirmed his belief that “Knowledge is a curse”. Both of us felt frustrated and sad from learning knowledge.
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