Somewhere around age of seven, he was given away to Captain Anthony’s relatives who live in Baltimore. There he starts to begin learning how to read and write with the help of Sophia Auld and local boys. While learning how to read and write, he starts noticing that slavery is bad and that in the North the slaves are free. After a couple years with Captain’s Anthony’s relatives, Frederick Douglass is given to Edward Convey, who is a very harsh man and the two of them even get into a fight. While being at Convey’s plantation Frederick Douglass learns the everyday life of a slave, which causes him to lose the interest of breaking out and becoming free, educated man.
It would be too unsafe for whites to educate their slaves because a slave “should know nothing but to obey his master—to do as he is told”(47). Still, Douglass progressed to learn how to read and write without a formal teache... ... middle of paper ... ...ather and eat until they were full while the slaves who served them were starving. Frederick Douglass increased awareness about the evils of slavery by educating his peers and others who would listen about the injustice and cruelty of slaveholding and slaveholders. He was able to overcome the ignorance of educating slaves, secretly teaching himself how to read by utilizing the little knowledge that was accidentally shared with him. Douglass gained a better sense of religion by reading the Bible himself and he learned that his Christianity practiced in the south was often hypocritical.
As shown in Douglass autobiography Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass gained first his mental freedom through education, a door opened to him by his learning to read. His physical freedom would not be as easy to reclaim, as seen in his rebellious fight against Covey. Instances like these are what empowered Douglass to gain his freedom and fight to end slavery. Throughout Douglass’s initial years of slavery, he was “out of the way of the bloody scenes that often occurred on the plantation.” (Douglass, 20) Captain Anthony’s whipping of Aunt Hester made the brutality of slavery crystal clear to the young Douglass. Being the first time Douglass ever witnessed such brutality, the whipping of Aunt Hester was a major and horrific moment for Douglass; Douglass will ultimately experience many more of these awful crimes to humanity, but this first experience changed his entire view of the world.
The institution of American slavery was fraught with many heart wrenching tails of inhuman treatment endured by those of African descent. In his autobiography Frederick Douglass details the daily horrors slaves faced. In Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave he depicts the plight of slavery with such eloquence that only one having suffered through it could do. Douglass writes on many key topics in slave life such as separation of families, punishment, and the truth that would lead him to freedom, and how these things work to keep slavery intact. In the words of Frederick Douglass, “My mother and I were separated when I was only but an infant…It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.” (22) The bond between mother and child was broken before it had chance to form.
He gave details how slaveholders first remove a child from his immediate family, and how that destroys a child’s support network and sense of personal history. Douglass never knew a lot about himself, including how old he was. The white children were able to tell their a... ... middle of paper ... ...he evils of slavery. Freedom to Frederick Douglass means a place where you are not scared of being taken into bondage. He didn’t believe anywhere in the United States is free because there is always the chance that a black man can be taken back into slavery because of the Fugitive Slave Laws.
His journey was rocky and his battle was difficult but,“…after a long, tedious effort for years, I finally succeeded in learning how to write.” (49) Knowledge set him free. By Frederick Douglass simply learning the basic fundamentals of reading and writing, he imposed a threat to his superiors. His narrative is a direct product of his enslavement; his powerful narrative brought light to a situation. Douglass is exactly what slave-owners feared. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery; as a result of Frederick’s continued resistance against his unfortunate “birthright”, he continued on to be an educated adult, a famous abolitionist, and inspirational orator.
His mistress helped teach him how to read and write. According to the story, The life of Frederick Douglass its stated "very soon after I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she was very kindly commenced to teach me A,B, C"(pg.351). She knew that it was important for the slaves to learn. Many people did not agree with her because they thought that once you teach a black how to read and write, they would no longer obey their masters. Once a slave was educated in those times, they were no longer useful for the masters because they thought the enslave needed to be uneducated.
The significant of education in “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass” is the most important theme in the entire passage. Frederick Douglass understands that the only way to freedom, for him and also other slaves, is through learning to read, write, and also have an education. Education helps Frederick to understand things that slowly will destroy his mind, and heart at the same time. Understanding the full extent of the horrors of slavery can be devastating to a person who has just set mind on morals, and values. In the passage Frederick says, “It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but offered no ladder upon which to get out” (Douglass 61).
And the lack of education left their minds dulled to any thoughts beyond what they already knew which was just their own miserable condition. To read this narrative is to hear an authentic, truthful voice in Douglass who throws out the flowery language of his day to paint an accurate portrait of the life of a slave to make us believe his story and sympathize with his cause. Douglass struggles to find his own identity and does so through self-reliance against all odds. He notes that he is a great exception and that in order for slavery to end, the social and political systems have to change because the factors that keep slaves in bondage are to great for all slaves to overcome. In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property.
Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist who wrote an autobiography, from which the excerpt "Learning to Read and Write" explains how he developed literacy. In the excerpt, an African American slave banned from learning to read and write, breaks the law in an attempt to free his mind from the restricted beliefs of his master. One significant idea portrayed from Douglass's ordeal is that reading and writing is a vital skill that benefits humanity. Writing is essential for passing on human history. Things you see today such as bibles, textbooks and hieroglyphics are key to understanding the people who lived before us.