The Importance Of Education In Frederick Douglass

741 Words 3 Pages
In the narrative of Frederick Douglass, Douglass discussed education as a mean of persuasion rather than protest. In the autobiography Douglass makes valid points about what slaves cannot do because their masters won’t allow them. For example, “...slaves know little of their age.” Neither Frederick nor any other slave could know their age because their masters wanted to keep them ignorant and unknowledgeable. In agreement to Mr. Auld, slaves are persistently stripped of all self-identity rights including, (birth dates, parents, personal names, etc.) and denied access to a basic education because, “If you teach a nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable …show more content…
During this time slaves, could not read or write because their white superior did not want them to be knowledge. In the preface Douglass states, “…slavery was a poor school for the human intellect and heart, he narrated some of the facts in his own history as a slave.” Frederick Douglass was being soft-spoken while he was giving a speech in front of a big audience, and he’s never had much usage or training for that kind of thing. Douglass wants his listeners to understand and not to judge him too harshly. At the same time, when Douglass claims slavery as a ‘poor school for the human intellect and heart,’ he’s reminding people that while slaves might often not seem to be as smart or as well-spoken as white people, this isn’t their fault. Instead, it’s the fault of the masters who enslaved them. After all, while Southerners would claim that black people should be slaves because they were born subjacent, Douglass thinks this is reverse; slaves aren’t born subjacent, but rather it’s slavery that makes them …show more content…
He wanted the audience to understand what was going on during the time he was enslaved, from his point of view. He also wanted the audience to understand education was not important during this time frame. Frederick Douglass did not hide the facts from his audience, he told them everything in his narrative. However, Douglass uses his theme further in his diary by discussing his experiences. While Douglass’s education ultimately leads him to freedom. He specifically states that he feels this way by writing, “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing.” Douglass feels this way while enslaved because his education raises him to the level of a intellectual human, but he is not allowed to think or live freely. Douglass holds a commodity which tortures himself and Douglass “often wished [himself] a beast” so that he would not know of his condition. The only time that his education gave him joy was when he taught other slaves to read, but this only ended in a failed liberation setup and a defeat. In conclusion, Frederick Douglass wanted people to understand education could be a curse but a gift at the same time. When you’re a black educated slave, you become human and you realize what’s going on. Rather than when you’re a slave, you have now knowledge or understanding on what’s going

Related Documents