Analysis Of Frederick Douglass Beliefs

1668 Words 7 Pages
Beliefs are largely influenced by values and the systems set up on these values. For instance, Frederick Douglass was a victim of the institution of slavery. As a man born into slavery, he became one of the great abolitionists of his time by resisting the system of slavery. Douglass lived with many different slaveholders, moving all around Maryland. However, all these slaveholders had one thing in common: they saw slaves as something less than human. Slaves were restrained because of the belief that they were only property and nothing more. Due to the restrictive institution of slavery, Douglass was denied from education and confiding in other slaves; therefore, his idea of freedom was to be free from control of a slaveholder.
Slaveholders
…show more content…
Although Douglass was punished for educating himself, he desperately got ahold of any piece of knowledge he could. He began reading texts and speeches about the corrupt system of slavery and slowly collected more information on the dehumanization of slaves, which “opened [his] eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out” (24). Douglass is saying that his perspective on slavery changed due to the newfound knowledge. He uses an analogy to connect new knowledge with a horrible pit without a ladder to escape, meaning that education forced slavery into becoming a frightening trap. The snare caused him to feel restless with his position as a slave and gave him a stronger desire to flee. Douglass’s escape from enslavement is symbolized by the absence of a ladder with rungs that would lead him step by step to allow him to flee the pit; however, the control of Douglass’s master prevented him from escape. Because of the restrictive institution of slavery, Douglass desperately wished for a ladder, or escape from slavery, which would allow him to be free from the control of his master. However, despite the negative impact that education can cause a slave, Douglass still desired to pursue education. His search for knowledge is shown when he traded the abundant bread in his slaveholder’s home while sent out for errands. With the bread he would bribe neighborhood white children; the bread was “used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give [Douglass] that more valuable bread of knowledge” (23). Even though slaves were deprived of the right to education, Douglass wanted to learn and therefore found a method to do that, determined to try to escape from his master’s control. Douglass used a metaphor to show that knowledge was similar to bread in his

Related Documents

Related Topics