Frederick Douglass Theme Of Literacy

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Literacy is defined as a person’s knowledge of a subject of field or the possession of education by dictionary.com. During slavery times, slaves were not allowed to learn how to read or write. Frederick Douglass was an exception to this standard. Douglass acquired his education into his own hands after he could no longer be taught how to read and write and was determined to expand his mind beyond the slave mindset that he had been taught. Douglass did not turn his back on his people, instead, he wanted to better himself so he could teach them what they did not know. Within the text, there are many instances in which literacy and education is evoked. Douglass does not become a “reproduction of the white culture” and there are three major passages that were vital to the development of the theme of literacy through self-education, awareness, and freedom within this work. …show more content…
Auld. When Mr. Auld stated, “education ruins slaves and it would forever unfit him to be a slave”, it motivated Douglass to obtain more knowledge. When analyzed, Mr. Auld is saying that if Douglass continued being taught, that it would make him too knowledgeable and powerful to be a slave. He would have a mind of his own and would know about the events that are surrounding him and alert the others as to what is happening. In a sense, Mr. Auld was observing the bigger picture, if a slave was educated, then they would be able to cause a rebellion against slavery and possibly have it abolished or start a war between slaves and their owners. In the text, it was also stated by Mr. Auld that it was “unlawful, as well as unsafe to teach a slave to read”. This exhibits the fear that the slave owners had about their slaves being educated and saw them as potential threat. As a solution to their problem, they deprived slaves of literacy to maintain

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