ReviewEssays.com - Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays
Search

Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom

Essay by   •  July 16, 2018  •  Essay  •  916 Words (4 Pages)  •  274 Views

Essay Preview: Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Knowledge equals freedom: A literary essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass describes how the white man uses his power to enforce the hardships and injustices of slavery upon his property; Douglass thus, fights against these injustices in order to escape the slave life he was born into, and instead finally became a freeman. In fact, when Douglass learns the reason why he is directly forbidden to read and write, he deliberately sets out to become literate, achieving what his master most dreaded: his freedom. Douglass goes on to explain his journey to freedom through the unjustly practice of ignorance upon a slave, disobediently becoming literate, and describing how being literate as a freeman differs from his past life..

In the beginning, Frederick Douglass explains how Masters keep their slaves manageable by withholding knowledge from them and keeping them ignorant. For example, when Douglass was relocated to Baltimore, he had a new, kind mistress who was inexperienced in owning slaves, she was so kind that she “commenced to teach [him] the A,B,C…and to spell words of three or four letters” (20). Unfortunately, his master found out and forbade for this to continue because “it is unlawful as well as unsafe to teach a slave to read” (20). The master saw this action as unsafe because giving a slave the power of literacy means that the slave is “unmanageable and no use to his master” (20). Furthermore, the Master goes on to explain that all a slave should know is to “ obey his master- to do what he is told to do;” if a slave defies these rules and becomes literate “there would be no keeping him” (20). In hearing this, Douglass concludes that most masters “wish to keep their slaves ignorant” because knowledge is the key to his freedom (1).

Douglass, knowing that literacy was his only way to freedom, used any resource he could to learn how to read and write despite what the law says. After his master explained why slaves shouldn’t be able to read or write, Douglass “set out with … a fixed purpose to learn how to read” no matter the consequence (20). In fact, knowing this is what his master dreaded the most did not phase Douglass, on the contrary, it motivated him. In order to achieve his goal to read and write, Douglass had to discreetly use any resource he could: he first used the little white boys in the neighborhood, who Douglass gave bread to in return for them teaching him the more “valuable bread of knowledge” (23). Moreover, he used similar techniques to learn how to write: he closely watched the letters used to separate timber on the shipyard, and after learning the names of the letters, he “immediately commenced to copying them” and with that he could write out four letter words (26). After that Douglass would go to boys he knew could write and challenged them by writing down the “letters which [he] had been so fortunate to learn” and tell them to beat that. Douglass would also practice what he learned on walls, fences, and he even “[spent] time writing in his” Master’s copy-book “…until [he] could

...

...

Download as:   txt (5.2 Kb)   pdf (44.9 Kb)   docx (12 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on ReviewEssays.com
Citation Generator

(2018, 07). Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom. ReviewEssays.com. Retrieved 07, 2018, from http://classiccaladiums.org/essay/Knowledge-Equals-Freedom-A-Literary-Essay-on-Frederick/81691.html

"Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom" ReviewEssays.com. 07 2018. 2018. 07 2018 <http://classiccaladiums.org/essay/Knowledge-Equals-Freedom-A-Literary-Essay-on-Frederick/81691.html>.

"Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom." ReviewEssays.com. ReviewEssays.com, 07 2018. Web. 07 2018. <http://classiccaladiums.org/essay/Knowledge-Equals-Freedom-A-Literary-Essay-on-Frederick/81691.html>.

"Knowledge Equals Freedom: A Literary Essay on Frederick Douglass’s Journey to Freedom." ReviewEssays.com. 07, 2018. Accessed 07, 2018. http://classiccaladiums.org/essay/Knowledge-Equals-Freedom-A-Literary-Essay-on-Frederick/81691.html.

Comme des rois | Watch Movie | One Piece 362