Frederick Douglass’ essay “Learning to Read and Write” is the autobiographic story of a period of his life which allowed him to become a literate man who later on was freed from slavery.
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In my opinion, the purpose of this essay is to show all people that everything is possible in this life if you really try hard to get it. Hard work and persistence can open any door, even that which leads to freedom.
Frederick Douglass did an immensurable job in learning to write on his own. Ways which he used for this are truly striking. A child of 12 years who is smart enough to work out a strategy to develop writing skills from other boys by challenging their capabilities in writing or by copying the notes of his owner’s son impressed me greatly.
The author proves once again that the power of human mind is limitless, however, people are usually lazy to use its potential to the fullest.
Moreover, the author reveals a great deal of responsibility for his competence. He understands well what can lead to his success in life. He sees a big power in books and newspapers using each chance to read.
His desire to study and develop does not disappear due to the fact that he does not even have the means to write. He proves that if there is a will, the way will always be found. His will is strong and goal-oriented. Frederick Douglass did an outstanding job as for the African American who had nothing and was enslaved, but obtained fame and freedom.
In his early age, he understood how the surrounding people, the society can influence the opinions of other people. His mistress was very kind to him from the beginning, trying to give him at least some education. However, under the influence of her husband cruelty she became as harsh on him as everyone else.
I think that her attitude to Douglass changed in order to respond to the demands of the society – she was just trying to blend with the mass of people who considered African Americans to be lower than nothing. Weak people cannot go against the societal norms.
The son of his owners as well as all those white boys in the streets who attended school did an immense job for him without even their realization. Author’s access to the notebooks of the son helped Douglass to master his skills in writing and reading. He understood that being literate is very closely connected to freedom as it open you the whole world of knowledge hidden in books.
For me Frederick Douglass is a real hero of his time. He has made a great step from slavery to free life. He achieved everything he wanted. Despite the hardship and his occasional thoughts to die, he continued to fight for his rights in a very non-conflictive way – way of knowledge, confidence in his strength, and ingenuity.
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