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Fredrick Douglas

Essay by   •  August 11, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,043 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,371 Views

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In the 1800s, slaves were looked down upon. They were merely a mistake or sin created by God. Slaves were not looked upon as humans, instead they were seen by white men as animals, or a disgrace to the human race. They were granted less rights, if any, than those of white men. Their life consisted of nothing more than work. They worked before the sun had rose and after the sun had set. They had little time if any to enjoy what life had to offer them. Despite the fact that families were separated, whips were lashed across many backs, and food was scarce, many still hoped. They hoped for freedom; something that may never come.

When comprehending Frederick Douglass, I observed that knowledge was the path that led to freedom. In order for a slave to escape slavery and become a free man or woman, one must seek knowledge or education. Slaveholders deprived all slaves from any form of an education because they knew that slaves would purse freedom if they were granted knowledge. Frederick Douglass first notices that the key to freedom was an education or the slightest hint of knowledge was valuable, when Hugh Auld demands his wife to stop teaching Douglass how to read and write. Mr. Alud states that an education ruins slaves. He says, " If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world." ( Page 20)

After hearing what Mr. Alud says, Douglass is quick to catch on that slaves do not have a chance to escape slavery because they are not accessed to it. Without any knowledge granted by white slaveholders, slaves could not free themselves. From this point on, Frederick Douglass is aware of the white mens strategies and secrets. This entices Douglass to educate himself in order to free himself and many others from slavery.

Emotions are commonly described as any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, and is accompanied by certain physiological changes, such as an increased heartbeat. When reading Frederick Douglass, I experienced more than just emotions, I experienced life itself in the 1800s. Frederick Douglass was not a happy, upbeat, happy book, instead it was a book about hardships and courage. It taught me a lesson to pursue your goals and aspirations, despite any hardships or struggles.

When reading Frederick Douglass, I experienced a range of emotions. These emotions would range from dismal and depressed feelings to barbaric and unrealistic feelings. It was incredible to think how poorly slaves were treated in the 1800s. At times, I could not control my tears because of the harsh things that were taken upon by the slaves. Slaves were whipped upon not because they performed something wrong or because they did not wake up in time, but because of their master's needs or passion to cruelty. Some slaveholders or masters felt a basic need or desire to perform such cruelty to a slave. They felt it was necessary for a slave to be broken



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