The Key to Freedom

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In the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” he shares throughout his story the value of an education. Douglass also talks about how education and slavery are incompatible with one another. This makes it very difficult for a slave to reach or become free due to the fact that according to Douglass “education was the key to freedom.” Below the hardships and constant battle of Frederick Douglass will be analyzed, with regard to how as a slave education was so crucial for people who were not in positions with a need for learning. When talking about the role that education played in Douglass’s story, one must see that it was one of if not the biggest parts of his narrative. Education was a way to freedom according to Douglass. He felt that slaves could only become free by learning how to read, write, and have an overall educational base to build up on. While Douglas felt that education was his way to freedom, it also leads to him fully understanding the horrors of slavery. When Douglass states, “It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but offered no ladder upon which to get out” (33). Here he shares how education lead to his true understanding of slavery as a whole, and shows the reader that while education was going to lead or help him make his way towards freedom, it was also made him even more miserable as he came to the full realization of how hopeless the situation truly was for himself and other slaves. Douglass did not believe that education and slavery fit together. He states that, “education and slavery were incompatible with each other.” (31). One view of this is that many people were very afraid of slaves becoming educated because they would take their jobs. Another possibility was slave owners became angry and worried over having an educated slave because he may try to outsmart them, or would lead to larger issues. Whatever reason people had for having slaves was nothing more than complete and utter ignorance. As stated above education...
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