Douglass' s narrative analysis Essay

Submitted By medie1992
Words: 1363
Pages: 6

The analysis of Douglass’s narrative
Frederic Douglass's narrative of his life took place during the segregation period, a time in which black people weren't free and didn't belong to themselves; on the contrary, they were the property of their masters. Douglass was part of this class, and as a slave he didn't have the right to be educated. Moreover, his mistress, who first used to instruct him, stopped teaching him and further became against the idea that a slave is taught. However, Douglass is different from other slaves because he doesn't take into account the stiff position of his mistress and he has a real passion for learning to read and to write. This passion pushed him to adopt "various stratagems" to be taught. When his Mistress sends him for errands, he takes this opportunity to receive some reading lessons from his new friends, little poor whites, in exchange for some bread. Despite his slave status, he kept finding a way to learn and reach his goal. Thus, his narrative "Learning to Read and Write" illustrates a deep and profitable example of perseverance and endurance that we really need in today's education.
As all black slaves, Douglass is deprived of education and literacy because they are regarded as inferior. However, he is convinced that everybody has the same rights, even the right to be educated. Hence, he did everything in his power to be educated, and he persevered in this learning process despite all pressure around him, and he ended up instructed.
Education is one of the most important points in Douglass's narrative. He wants to be instructed at all costs, and he upholds it with all perseverance. He knows that education will take him to freedom, so he devotes himself in the learning of reading and writing. This helped him to finally understand a lot of things about slavery and slaveholders. He has heard a new word, "abolition" and this word was so often mention that it drew its attention: "it always used in such connections as to make it an interesting word to me." Hence, he decided to learn its meaning, but looking it up in the dictionary doesn't help him understand the meaning of "abolition." However, he didn't give up; he continued to read everything he could read. Then one day, he found the meaning of abolition and abolitionist while reading a newspaper. Abolition means making an end to slavery, and an Abolitionist is some one who works to stop slavery.
Through reading, he also understand that every people have the same rights and have to live free and no one has the right to treat someone else as if he was an object nor oblige him to do everything you told him to do even if he doesn't want to do it. His passion for reading let him know a lot about bad actions of masters: "the moral which I gained from the dialogue was the power of truth over the conscience of even a slaveholder." Thus, beyond his passion for being educated, freedom was another reason and specific one for Douglass to learn to read and to write.
In his desire to be educated, Douglass showed courage by going to find white children in the street who are not yet aware that teaching a slave is a kind of sacrilege. He did it by making friends with these white kids, and those are happy to teach him every thing they've learned in school. Sometimes he exchange food for lessons, but he got help from children who haven't yet learned that black people are inferior and are not human beings. In addition to that, learn to write turns out to be more difficult than learning to read. Since he needs something to write and Douglass doesn't know what to write, but the white boys helped him and challenged him in doing that. Although he always lost, he didn't give up. And these white ended up in helping him to write. Although this story occurred long time ago, in today's education we still need to be…