Fredrick Douglass Argumentative Essay

Words: 1130
Pages: 5

Fredrick Douglass presents, in his autobiography, a stellar piece of literature in slavery, its impact on the people and the struggle towards its eradication. Douglass wrote the literature about seven years after his escape from slavery. This autobiography is by far the best work in the description of the murk that was slavery. At various points in his book, Douglass highlights the brutality that accompanied slavery while discussing the attempts by the enslaved population at reclamation of their humanity.
Among the atrocities of slavery is the separation from family. In the first pages of his book, Douglas illustrates this well explaining his lack of an identity. The narrative opens with Douglas stating all he does not know about himself, his identity and family. All Douglas knows about himself is his place of birth in Maryland. Douglas was separated from his family at a tender age.
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All over the slave states, the masters ensured that the slaves had no access to freedom and rights like education, voting, expression among others. Education remained inaccessible to the slaves. They remained without even the most basic knowledge of how to read or even write. Many slaves were Christians, but to be considered a Christian at the time, one had to be able to read the bible. Douglas expresses this through Hugh who denies him a basic education. When Hugh realized that Douglass was getting a basic education, learning how to spell words, from his wife Sophia, he cautions her to stop. He says to his wife “if you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave.” (Douglass, Ch. VI). This shows the masters knew that only by keeping the slaves uneducated and ignorant, slavery could continue. As heartbreaking as this was to Douglass, he realizes learning how to read is “the pathway from slavery to freedom.” (Douglass, Ch.