Family And Education In Kindred By Octavia Butler

1892 Words 8 Pages
Family and education were very important to the survival of slaves. Family often provided love and comfort to those in bondage. Education also helped slaves looking to escape to the North. The abolitionist Fredrick Douglass writes about the importance of family and education in his life. However, family and education could also be used to keep slaves in life. Masters knew that having families would make it hard for slaves to runway. Education was complicated, but it could also be used to make slaves obeyed, especially religious education. Octavia Butler’s novel, Kindred, troubles the conventional idea that family and education were both a comfort and a means to escape to slaves. Butler’s novel shows how it is the main character’s love for …show more content…
In fact, history proves education to be one of the keys to the end of slavery. Douglass mentions early in his narrative how important the desire of masters to keep their slaves ignorant was. Douglass writes, “the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know of theirs” (1). Later on he writes, “want of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me” (1), to present how illiterate slaves were and how miserable life was. Eventually Douglass was bought by a new set of masters, Mr. and Mrs. Auld, where Mrs. Auld taught and introduced him to literacy. It was “unlawful” to teach any slave, Douglass discusses Mr. Auld’s reaction about him learning, such as Mr. Auld says “Learning would SPOIL the best nigger in the world … it would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master” (Douglass, 29). Mr. Auld like other slave owners are aware of the value of education but it gradually becomes valuable to more slaves. This meant that slaves were going against their masters’ word, Douglass says “learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing” (Douglass, 35), and slaves found themselves in brutal situations. As a result, slaves who didn’t follow the movement were safe, afraid, and made the process slower but those who did had an advantage in the community. After all, Douglass like a great deal of slaves found methods to deceive their masters by learning, and Douglass says “I wished to learn how to write, as I might have occasion to write my own pass” (Douglass, 37). Education made those ideas to slaves for freedom so it becomes evident how valuable education is. By learning their capability of being brilliant allows them to be equal instead of ignorant and clueless as their masters

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