Frederick Douglass gives an overview of his struggle for literacy in his narrative, “Learning to Read and Write.” He lived with Master Hugh Auld’s family for approximately seven years. During that time Mistress Auld taught him the fundamentals of reading and writing. However, the instruction Douglass received eventually came to an end. She became cold-hearted, as slavery had corrupted her. At a young age Douglass began receiving reading lessons from poor Caucasian children, in which he would bribe them with bread. As he grew older he would take the letters recognized from the shipyard and compete with Caucasian men, in which he would also receive valuable reading lessons. “The Colombian Orator” was the first book he was able to read, that was about a slave and his master. The slave was portrayed as intelligent, which later gained him his freedom. This was no doubt an inspiration to Douglass. Sheriden (the author) discussed the denunciation of slavery and promotion of human rights. Once able to read, Douglass expressed a negative outcome rather than positive. He envied fellow slaves for their simple-mindedness and grew to despise slave-holders as he educated himself.
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Douglass copied the italics in Webster’s Spelling Book until he memorized them. When Mistress Auld would leave to a class meeting he would finish Master Thomas’ copy book, studying it. Eventually, Douglass could write similar to him. As a few years past, he found himself able to write. With perseverance and dedication, anything is possible.
Public schools are an opportunity for students to obtain a free education. A significant amount of students who attend are less fortunate, whereas the remainder feel it is unnecessary to pay for a privilege that is so abundant. Formal education is the foundation of a student’s career. Clearly, this was not available to a 19th century slave, such as Douglass. He struggled and fought for his education, realizing its true worth. Do students in today’s society underestimate its value? School to many consider it a burden rather than an opportunity. Douglass was blessed to have the chance to attain literacy. If education were to become scarce, would the attitudes of individuals change? To many, of course. Students rely on their parents to motivate them to get up and get ready to go to school. It’s not a choice for many, but an obligation. However, this does not apply to individuals similar to Douglass. They comprehend education is not a simple task, but an ongoing effort. Frederick Douglass is the product of hard work and dedication.
The United States of America is the land of opportunity. Citizens are promised that if they work hard, they can achieve anything. The American dream has been instilled in its citizens from an early age. America’s times have changed, however, its desire for success has not. All social classes wish to be accomplished. Douglass is no different from those who struggle in today’s society. He was quite insignificant in regard to status.
Douglass changed that when he became educated. According to human nature, people want they can’t have. It is simply a matter of making dreams a reality. People can make a prosperous life for themselves if they work hard enough for it.
Perseverance and dedication are key essentials of achievement. Regardless of gender, ethnicity, social class or religious preference, everyone is entitled to become a prominent human being. Education, however, is essential in today’s culture. Without it, one may not have the opportunities that he or she could have had with it. It is up to the individual to make that dream become a reality. Frederick Douglass is a prime example of one who struggled for years without giving up, to achieve his dream. No matter what the risks were, he was determined to become literate. He is no doubt a role-model to follow for all.
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