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Fedrick Douglass Analysis Essay

Autor:   •  August 15, 2017  •  1,540 Words (7 Pages)  •  677 Views

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This theme of ignorance had an effect on everything, not just the life of Fredrick Douglass. As I stated in the beginning, slaves were purposely lied to about their family history and birthplace, this takes away the slaves idea of self-worth and puts the idea in their heads that they wouldn’t have survived without their masters. Slaves were not allowed to read and write and were thus generally not aware of the events outside of the plantation, they also could not communicate with each other well to foment rebellion or conduct escape plans, and illiterate, ignorant slaves could not attain the sense of self-sufficiency and pride that came from being lettered.

Literacy brought with it an understanding of the larger world, had these slaves been able to read and write they would’ve learned that slavery is frowned upon and virtually nonexistent up north. Most if not all slaves already knew this for themselves but for them to actually read it in a paper would only make slaves desire to escape stronger thus giving the slaves more power, making life harder for the slave owners. Being able to read and write also opened up before a slave the idea of justice and an understanding of Christianity. Had these slaves been able to read and most importantly interpret the bible for themselves they would have learned that the Bible was filled with slaves but they also would have learned that in the Bible it talks about how slaves should be treated. The slaves would have learned that they weren’t being treated like how the bible says they should be and that once again could lead to a slave such as Fredrick Douglass having a new desire to break away from slavery. The slave owners had to keep the slaves ignorant from the truth in order to have total 100% control over their slaves no matter what.

In conclusion the main themes of the Narrative that was written by former slave Fredrick Douglass were ignorance and untruthfulness. These were the main themes because since a slave’s birth they are lied to, they are lied to about their birth and they are lied to about their family history. As they grow older they are forced to live life without an education rendering them homeless and helpless. These are the main themes because not only do these masters purposely do this, they also have things set in place to ensure that if a slave gets to prideful and confident, they break him and make sure that a slave doesn’t gain the knowledge that they need, an example of that would be when Fredrick Douglass was sent to Edward Covey.

The main themes are ignorance and untruthfulness because throughout the story Fredrick’s goal is to break the cycle and obtain the knowledge that has been kept from him since his birth. Once he is free, Douglass’s literacy lets him advance the abolitionist cause far more than he could without the ability to read and write. The whole story Fredrick Douglass is trying to find the way to freedom and he quickly learns that education was the way to go and in order to gain that education he had to defeat the precedent that was set by his slave owners, the precedent of ignorance and untruthfulness.


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