Theme Of Abuse In Frederick Douglass

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The suffering of the slaves is elaborated through the characters of the novel, and the most famous one is Douglass, who is the narrator and protagonist of novel and other characters, who are faced mental and physical abuse by their slaveholders. Firstly, Douglass is one of the rest slaves who are lost their true identity and family because of the slavery and that is abvioused from the beginning of the novel. Douglass have no accurate knowledge of his age, never having seen any authentic record containing. Douglass does not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday, so Douglass states, "The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same privilege"
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Slaves were not allowed to read and write and were thus generally not aware of the events outside of the plantation, could not communicate with each other well to arise up rebellion or conduct escape plans, and could not attain the sense of self-sufficiency and pride that came from being lettered and educated. Literacy brought with it an understanding of the larger world. It opened up before a slave the idea of justice and an understanding of history. Reading the Bible led to a truer comprehension of Christianity. As slave children grow older, slave owners prevent them from learning how to read and write. Slaveholders understand that literacy would lead slaves to question the right of whites to keep slaves. By keeping slaves illiterate, Southern slaveholders maintain control over what the rest of America knows about slavery. If slaves cannot write, their side of the slavery story cannot be told. It could be said that, the slavery has a double edged weapon, as all the slaves Douglass was deprived from education, but with his struggle and determination to gain education, Frederick Douglass, was not just a man who taught himself how to read, but he was a man who was very …show more content…
He challenges the cruelty of slavery and inenlighenment, he also describes to the readers the importance of education in their life. At first he was very fortunate to have a mistress who was kind to him. Even though she did not fully teach him how to read but she built a foundation for him to fall on, and he used it to teach himself how to read and then write. Mr. Auld found out what was going on, and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to learn him more, telling her, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. To use his own words, further, he said, “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. Now,” said he, “if you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy” (36, 37). Douglass becomes committed to literacy after Hugh Auld’s order that Sophia Auld cease teaching him. He got that inspiration from his master Mr.Auld,when he told his mistress that it was bad to teach a slave how to read and write, Douglass realizes the importance of reading and the possibilities that this skill could help him. He takes it upon

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