Based On The Works Of Frederick Douglas And His Strugle To Get An Education

2555 words - 10 pages

Fighting For DestinyImagine what it would be like being beaten almost everyday. Forced to lie in a pool of your own blood, blood so fresh from the vein that its warmth took away the chill of the cold morning air. This is the life of a slave, the life of the oppressed. This is the life that Frederick Douglass, a slave from Maryland, was forced to endure before he courageously made his escape to the north. The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was published by Douglass after he escaped to his freedom. His biography demonstrates how important an education was to Douglass, and the dangerous lengths he went to in order to get it. The education that Douglass acquired for himself was the sole factor that allowed for his dream of freedom to come about.Douglass was born a slave in Tuckahoe, Maryland approximately 1817. I say approximately because a slave's age was not considered an important issue to slave owners. Thus Douglass had "no accurate knowledge of [his] age, having never seen any authentic record containing it," (47). Because Douglass was a slave for so many years he is able to portray in great detail the differences in slaveholders; from severe acts of cruelty to sincere acts of kindness by those who helped Douglass learn and understand new things.One of the strongest motivating forces for Douglass to further his education came from the mouth of one of his former oppressors. Mr. Auld, a former master of Douglass' said, "if you give a nigger an inch, he will take an mile, and that to educate the slaves will only make them discontent and unhappy" (78). Although Mr. Auld's words were spoken in hatred, he was correct in his assumption. Once Douglass began to acquire an education it only furthered his desire for freedom until he could no longer live under oppression. Before learning how to read, Douglass only knew he was a slave and he had to obey his master's wishes.Unfortunately, after learning the key to translating the world around him, Douglass suffered from bouts of depression to thoughts of suicide. Douglass had a strong desire to learn new things but he always had to hide from his masters the knowledge he was gaining. But his desire to further his education provided Douglass with the motivation to keep learning all he could. After Douglass began to gain the fundamentals of an education he could no longer live a life under the misguided laws that were forced upon him. A short time after learning to read and write, Douglass came to the realization that he could no longer struggle to learn within the binds of slavery. He would either live a freeman's life or die fighting for his freedom.During this time of struggling for knowledge, Douglass begins to realize the numerous tactics used by slave owners to impede slaves from learning. Such as using the scriptures to prove to slaves that they were a lower race when compared to white people. The mutilation of religious scripture was a tactic used habitually throughout the south. The...

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