ESSAY 2! ! 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 the 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 be-
cause the slaveholders maintain power by keeping the slaves controlled, confused and igno-
rants. 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 Mater's acknowledge the progress he was making on 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, makes them upset. Douglass essay describes his terrible experiences with his
slaveholders and he witnesses how that kind woman started her downfall becoming this evil
woman. 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. The reason of their
agenda was no other than they being afraid to loose control of their slave. They knew that a
slave with knowledge would become a problem.
Douglass started a plan to take advantage in many ways possible to teach himself how to
read. He met the poor white street boys and converted them on his teachers. He thought about
exchange bread for books. He also stole newspapersm, he discovered the used books of his
little master and started copying his handwriting. Douglass succeed wonderfully on his plan
and he learned how to read and write. However he is aware that he owed to his slavers harsh
treatment, the strength to keep his plan...