Essay about The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

1158 Words Aug 16th, 2015 null Page
Although Frederick Douglass was born into slavery, he managed to gain power by learning how to read and write, making him an advocate for slaves in hope of liberation. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass communicates the importance of literacy among African Americans because it would allow them to find a way out of slavery. He also introduces the main reason why they weren’t literate: the slave-owners disapproval of education for slaves. Through the use of pathos and ethos, Douglass vividly describes the harsh reality he endured and witnessed growing up as a slave and the impact literacy had on his escape. His experiences gave his white abolitionist audience the chance to picture his horrible reality and to take action and promote literacy for African Americans. In the eyes of the slave owners, a slaves’ only purpose was to work. Slave owners knew if they gave slaves an education their attempts to escape would have increased. Slave owners wanted to keep slaves closed off from higher society, and that meant hindering their knowledge. Detail was key in Douglass’s arguments; he not only mentions his own experiences but he also describes the exploits of the many slaves he lived with, “I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood”(27). Using examples very close and personal to him,…

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