Frederick Douglass Essay

448 words - 2 pages

Reaction to Frederick Douglass' "Learning to Read" The short story "Learning to Read" by Frederick Douglass deals with his recollections on learning to read and write. Douglass lived in Baltimore in the 19th century. Douglass had no regular teacher. His mistress was the wife of the slave owner who housed Douglass. She started to teach him the alphabet. When her husband observed her teaching him, the master decided that the lessons must stop. Douglass resorted to making friends with a few white boys whom he met on the street. Since these boys were poor and had ...view middle of the document...

Douglass at times felt learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. "I often found myself regretting my own existence, and wishing myself dead; and but for the hope of being free, I have no doubt that I should have killed myself, or done something for which I should have been killed" (Douglass, 430). Soon with all this aggression inside him, Douglass tried to console himself with the hope that one day he could become free. Douglass wrote in the spaces left in a copy of his master's book, copying what he wrote. He repeated the process until he could finnaly learn to write. Douglass triumphed in learning how to read and write only after years of dedication. My response to "Learning to Read" by Frederick Douglass is pretty straight forward. He was a slave for most of his life and was denied the privilege to learn to read and write. Even though he did not have the privilege of being taught, he had to seek elsewhere. It takes many years of hard work to be able to comprehend how to read and write, and Douglass performed this task. His motivation is beyond most slaves determination to have the thought to do this. I feel that if you put your mind to most anything in life you can accomplish your goal. Frederick Douglass accomplished his goal and thus, concludes my statement in which determination pays off.

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