Douglass Learning To Read And Write Essay

The piece tells of the troubles and repercussions that reading and writing bestowed on Douglass. His sentences are very direct and to the point; it is not difficult to decipher what he is trying to say.

For example, he begins his essay with, “I lived in Master Hugh’s family about seven years.

I really enjoyed the style of this essay; it was simple and easy to understand, but also showed that Douglass was an educated man.

Quote: “In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity,” (262). I always imagined that every slave would want to know how to read and write, and did not think that this could be a negative thing.

Douglass takes his audience through the events that helped teach him how to read and write.

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He started out with looking at his master’s newspaper, then he made friends with the white boys and learned from them, next he started reading books, and finally he found a way to learn how to write.This description aligns with his direct and simple style, but offers enough information to allow the reader to picture what type of woman this mistress was.Douglass uses elevated diction throughout his essay, which surprised me, considering he was a former slave.He uses words such as “pious”, “discontentment”, “treacherous”, and “thus”.These words help show just how educated Douglass truly was.“How I Learned to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass is the story of one young man’s pursuit for intelligence, proficiency, and literacy.This selection describes the challenges Douglass himself faces as he conquers his aspirations to read and write amidst his enslavement.Douglass gives an account of various personal experiences during the whole of the discourse, granting readers the opportunity to connect individualistically with the author.Correspondingly, Douglass merges all together the two forms, a sense of place as well as personal experience within the piece.Knowledge is power, and in this case, caused immense pain for Douglass. His powerful words reveal his pain and cause the reader to feel sorry for him.This quote supports the intention of the piece; it reveals the troubles and burdens that reading and writing placed upon Douglass.


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