Literacy In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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The life of Fredrick Douglass was not an easy one considering the obstacles he surpassed. Through the emotionally charged language in his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass describes the oppression he witnessed and faced to convey that knowledge gained through literacy seems bittersweet because while it helped him escape, it also served as a reminder of the thousands of people still enslaved. However by describing the role of literacy in his escape and utilizing his literacy to write his narrative, Douglass ultimately communicates that literacy is the key to combat inequality. When Douglass was a slave he among the rest of the slaves, was illiterate. Slaves did not know why they were being treated in such …show more content…
There were slave owners that kept slaves not just to work on the plantations but for other purposes like expanding their wealth. In Douglass’s narrative he mentions “Mr. Covey...bought her, as he said, for a breeder. After buying her, he hired a married man of Mr. Samuel Harrison …. at the end of the year, the miserable woman gave birth to twins”. Slaves were being forced to have children with men they did not even know, for the sake of expanding workers for the owners. Most slave owners who were poor did such thing in order to have more slaves later in the future and accumulate wealth. Douglass uses “married man” to describe that the owner Mr. Covey basically got his hand on a random man without caring if he was married or not. Douglass mentions that the man is married to show the audience that owners did not care of the state of the slave as long as they got what they intended. To describe the woman Douglass used the word miserable to show that the slave was unhappy. Miserable has a negative connotation and this was used to show that indeed the slave was in despair but could not do anything about it since she eventually had twins. This shows that since the slave was uneducated there was nothing she could do to hinder what was she was expected from her. The knowledge Douglass gained during his time being a slave, helped him discover many aspects about slavery that made him regret learning. After understanding inequality in society, Frederick Douglass came to the conclusion that ignorance is bliss. Douglass stated “As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing…In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity”. Learning to read and write was not all marvelous. Knowledge opened Douglas 's mind to the scenes behind slavery. He learned about how white slave owners knew that if

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