The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass Essay

1381 Words Dec 20th, 2016 6 Pages
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a beautifully written book about a man who overcame the horrors of slavery and was able to better himself, despite incredibly limited beginnings. Frederick Douglass is able to crawl out of the hole that slavers put him in through the bits and pieces of kindness that he finds in others, and this is facilitated by his learning to read. Literacy in Narrative is a direct link towards freedom in several ways. The ability to read opens Douglass’ss eyes to a life with more substance than the one he has ever known. But literacy isn’t the road towards freedom for Douglass, or other slaves, only. Douglass suggests that if slaves were allowed to be taught to read, it would free them from the chains of bondage, but it would also free the white slave holders from their bigotry and cruel characters. The teaching of literacy to slaves would lead not only the slaves to freedoms, but those who hold them captive as well. The impact that literacy has on slaves is not lost on those that claim their freedom. Mr. Auld, one of Frederick Douglass’s former slave masters, knew of this seemingly dangerous skill would cause him to lose a good slave: “Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world” (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 39). When Mr. Auld learns that his wife has been teaching Douglass to read in secret, he immediately puts a sop to it and tells her that she is walking a dangerous path, that “if you give a nigger an…

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