Learning How to Read and Write

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Frederick Douglass, Knowledge Pages: 3 (904 words) Published: September 28, 2014

Aura A. De Leon Sosa
Professor A. Webb
September 26, 2014

Learning How to Read and Write
By Frederick Douglass

“Learning how to Read and Write by Frederick Douglass is based on the very unfair life of this little boy (Douglass) who was born a slave. In his essay Douglass began expressing how his mistress was a very kind woman when he met her. This kind woman started to teach him how to read. However after her husband forbade her to teach him, she transformed herself in this evil person. He also learned his slaveholders did not want him to learn how to read because the slaveholders maintain power by keeping the slaves controlled, confused and ignorants. Otherwise the slaves will become out of control. Douglass teaches himself how to read in many ways possible and he succeeded. However he did not enjoyed as much as he though because he found out how miserable his life as slave for life was. He discovered that learning how to read was not the key for him to be a free man. Douglass’s Mater acknowledge the progress he was making in learning. He forbade his wife to teach Douglass. He said to her “…among other things it is unlawful as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read.” (except for Chapter VI) His master also told to his Mistress “…if you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell’. (except for Chapter IV) When he heard that, he felt helpless. He was very intrigued. Why his master was so upset about him learning?

Douglas knew that his masters were unhappy with him learning how to read. He noticed how his progress, made them upset. Douglass essay describes his terrible experiences with his slaveholders and he witnesses how that kind woman started her downfall becoming this evil person. He tasted their anger every day. He also learned that they had some kind of agenda. He discovered that their agenda was keeping him away from learning. Them being afraid was none other than their fear of loosing control of their slave. They...
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