The Determination of Frederick Douglas to Learn How to Read and Write

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Frederick Douglas and His Journey to Learn How to Read and Write

Frederick Douglas in his Learning to read autobiography indicates the steps that he undertook so as to know how to read and write while he was a slave. In the excerpt, it is seen that Frederick is a slave in Hugh Auld's home and therefore could not either attend school or be tutored on how to read. The master's wife would sometimes teach him the alphabet but later, the household's master instructed her to stop tutoring him. Due to this, Frederick notes that the mistress upon heeding to the master's orders becomes an evil woman that is inhuman towards him. This makes Frederick not understand or recognize her anymore. The author notes that on page 36 that she became more violent than the husband. Even if it became harder and harder for Frederick to learn, he did not give up but instead stood by his need for education and found another way to learn.

Finding an Alternative Path to Education

The author notes that through his determination, he was able to trick a neighborhood kid to teach him how to read and it went better than he expected. In the long run, Frederick was able to learn and improve. Coming across the book The Columbian Orator enabled him to learn all the words and letters in the book. He was able to memorize and dictate all the words and letters in the book which enabled him to eventually learn to write. Right from writing the letters on a board, he was taught to write clearly by a young boy and even though this was a long process and it was not easy on him, he could not give up on his dream of learning even though he was a household slave. The book challenges us through its theme of determination and putting effort. In showing the two components, we can get whatever we want just as Frederick did.

Work Cited

Douglass, Frederick. "Learning to read and write." 50 Essays, A Portable Anthology (2007): 2004-100.

September 11, 2023

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