In Reading Douglass Essay

Submitted By jaywatkins
Words: 325
Pages: 2

In reading, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, the argument that the purpose of slavery is to dehumanize blacks is very clear and proves to be true. Throughout the story Douglass describes his experiences with slave owners that were good and those who were also mean. Rather mean or not, it’s clear that the point behind slavery is still very clear. During this time, all citizens knew how to read and write, however slaves were not allowed to get an education. Although some slaves would disobey and choose to do so, they knew that if caught that they would be in great trouble. In chapter six, Frederick tells a story of a time his mistress was teaching him how to read and write but when her husband finds out he then forbids her from carrying on with this behavior. “If you teach that nigger how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable and of no value to his master.” This quote from Mr. Auld himself, in my opinion explains the basis that slavery was founded upon. Slave owners felt as long as slaves were, “ignorant”, that they could control them and that they would always be superior to slaves. By not knowing how to read or write, slaves had less knowledge which means that they had less power, making them unequal to all other men of the era. Later on in the story, Frederick directly describes himself and fellow slaves as “creatures”.
“A great many times have we poor creatures been nearly…