he Rise of a Slave
Frederick Douglass is a former slave who made great effort in order to obtain freedom. He is born into slavery in the state of Maryland and he barely knows his parents. Douglass is unique compare to other slaves because he learns how to read and write. He found a way to escape from his master and settles in Massachusetts. Frederick Douglass writes his text to abolish slavery and to change it as well; he plays an important role in securing the equal rights of African-Americans and the abolition of slavery. Frederick Douglass went through tough and undeserved treatment from the majority of his masters which took him through trials of slavery that enabled him to gain his education, gain his manhood and gain his freedom.
Slaves are not allowed the opportunity of being educated, most slave holders generally go against slave literacy because they know education is knowledge and with knowledge comes truth. They are also concerned that if some slaves get an education, the literate slaves will forge passes, influence other slaves to rebel against their masters and try to escape which will cause a lot of dilemma among slaves and slave masters. Understanding the consequences of learning how to read and write, some slaves still often found alternative ways to learning. On plantations and ships, learning how to read and write became a communal effort, according to Deborah Brandt in The Process of Literacy as Communal Involvement in the Narratives of Frederick Douglass . She points out that “literacy involves met communication, involvement, and inter-subjectivity- a strong sense of shared human activity and new opportunities for community” (365). Brandt’s perspective explains why most slaves needed each other to learn how to read and write. Slaves learn from their peers, parents, family members and sometimes their master’s Douglass is hired by Mr. Freeland, Mr. Freeland is an owner of two slaves, Henry and John Harris. Douglass notices that they were rather intelligent. Douglass is a literate slave and since he notices how smart they are he convinces them to have a desire to read and write. Douglass starts his own Sabbath school which he devotes his Sundays off to teach the slaves how to read and write. He holds the Sabbath school at a free colored man’s house. He has over forty slaves in his Sabbath school, men and women who has great desire and devotion to learn. Douglass said “I had at one time over forty scholars, and those of the right sort, ardently desiring to learn. They were all ages, mostly men and women” (Douglass 553).
Douglass effort in being literate started under injunction and secrecy. He learns to read and write when he was still a slave and that directly puts him in a very dangerous position because to teach a slave to read is illegal and forbidden. Douglass is taught by Sophia Auld, the wife of his owner at the time. Mr. Auld discovers that his wife is teaching Douglass how to read and write. He immediately rebukes...