Essay on The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

1049 Words Sep 14th, 2016 5 Pages
The Significance of Literacy within Slavery "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man" (Douglass 65). In his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass discusses his experiences as a slave and how he uses education in his journey to become a free man. Throughout his autobiography, Douglass uses logical appeals showing why literacy was withheld from slaves, emotional appeals illustrating how slavery corrupted his mistress ' mind, and ethical appeals showing how he used literacy to overcome slavery. These anecdotes illustrate that literacy allowed Douglass to further realize the injustices of slavery, which helped him to free himself from an inferior mindset and empower himself to overcome the oppression of slavery.
Douglass uses a logical appeal in his anecdote about moving to Baltimore to illustrate why literacy was withheld from slaves, and how he used it in his quest for liberation. When Douglass 's master from Baltimore caught his wife teaching him how to read he explained the dangers of teaching a slave. The slave will come to resent his situation, which will result in his discontent, thus eventually becoming unmanageable. After overhearing the Auld 's conversation, Douglass internalizes Auld 's words and values them as his ticket to freedom. Douglass narrates, "I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty‐‐to wit, the white manʹs power to enslave the black man. It…

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