Essay on Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

1247 Words Oct 16th, 2016 5 Pages
Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, written in 1845 describes the frustration and freedom that he endured. One of the reprieves that Douglass was able to take advantage of was learning to read. This ability to read enabled him to become free of mind, even though he was not free in the body. A direct result of education for Douglass, the text follows how he tries to regain freedom in all aspects of his life. Even though he was not free of the body, Douglass’s emerging sense of body to the reader is a product of his education in the 19th century. In a post Enlightenment society, where intellectual freedom was supposedly for everyone, he was still denied education, however now he is able “persist in [his] resistance” (2103). Douglass’s reading skill gave him power of mind, body, and soul that he had believed to have lost. In his language he continually emphasizes the advancement of self that come through education. In this paper, I will argue how through reading and education Douglass was able to attain agency and freedom he had been so long denied.
The Enlightenment was a time of intellectual freedom and some social mobility, thus creating a basis for reform. However, this reform was only applicable to the elite few even though philosophers like John Locke had said differently. He stated that, “[t]he presence of rationality and the possibility of education laid the foundation…[h]uman beings possess free will,…

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