Slave Life Essay

Submitted By iamthesquishy
Words: 552
Pages: 3

A slash from a whip for speaking, acting, and thinking is the life of a slave. White men force the slaves to live on the land of the free with many opportunities, but the slaves are not able to take part in any of it. In the excerpt Learning to Read and Write from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass is a former slave, who finds knowledge and literacy as his path to freedom. Through this experience, Douglass learns how to read and write, however his life becomes both a curse and later a blessing. Douglass depicts that not only does he learn to read and write to be well educated, but realizes that being well educated becomes a weapon that can silently fight for freedom. As he reads more about the mistreatment of his own people, Douglass views the ability to read as a curse, however it also pushes him into the direction where he begins to see that there is hope to escape from his miserable life. Education disgusts Douglass because it causes him to possess the knowledge that fully illustrates the horrors of slavery. “It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out” (107). Through the use of metaphor, Douglass vividly describes slavery as a “horrible pit” which connotes to hell which refers to the life of being a slave. Slavery is what keeps Douglass and his fellow slaves as lost souls or unresting spirits who are suffering in hell where there is “no ladder upon which to get out”. The reader can conclude that when Douglass chooses to use the phrase “no ladder upon which to get out” that it is impossible for a slave to flee from his or her life as a slave as it is the same when a person falls into hell. Although the idea of being a slave for life depresses Douglass, he becomes curious about people who are against slavery called abolitionists. A trip to the wharf and talking to two Irishmen telling him to run away makes him cautious but enlightens him. Talking to the men leads him to begin learning to write. In the passage, “During this time, my copy-book was