In the autobiography. the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. an American Slave. there is an implicit in subject of cognition as the way to freedom. During Douglass’ clip. slave proprietors deprived slaves of an instruction and as a consequence. the slaves were therefore deprived of freedom. Knowledge among slaves is what the white work forces feared the most. as cognition non merely “spoiled” slaves. it besides provided them with the penetration that finally paved their route to freedom.
Knowledge corrupts. or “spoils” slaves. as it happened with Frederick Douglass. Because uneducated slaves could non believe for themselves. they were therefore forced to obey their Masterss. or “thinkers” who made their determinations for them. After Douglass learned to read The Columbian Orator. a book that boldly denounced the immorality of bondage and the Whites. he began to harbour such acrimonious bitterness toward his Masterss that he “wishes [ him ] self dead. ” Knowledge emboldened Douglass. and gave him the bravery to arise against his Masterss. As a consequence. Douglass vowed to “run away” from the “band of successful robbers … that reduced him to slavery. ” Indeed. wisdom had “spoiled” Douglass ; he has now gained a acute penetration that allowed him to to the full joint the inhumanenesss of his Masterss.
Knowledge gave Douglass the ability to acknowledge the outrageousnesss of the corrupt white slave proprietors. Douglass. for case. points out that it was the white adult male who “shut [ Douglass’ ] oral cavity. and so inquire why [ he doesn’t ] speak. ” therefore turn outing that slave proprietors neither allow slaves to believe for themselves. nor do they let the slaves a voice in that determination. Furthermore. slave proprietors had antecedently instilled in their slaves the thought that any adult male who is independent is doomed to fall ; accordingly. slaves were misled to believe that freedom is slavery. However. Douglass. an educated slave. was able to recognize that he excessively was created equal. that he excessively had rights. and besides that he was non a slave. but a free adult male. In this manner. Douglass managed to put into gesture the cogwheels of his emancipation.
For Frederick Douglass. instruction was his “pathway from bondage to freedom. ” With his wisdom. he non merely dispersed his experiences to other slaves but besides stirred up sentiments within the white emancipationists every bit good. Unlike their nescient chaps. educated slaves can band together and eventually make for freedom.
1. Douglass. Frederick. “The Church and Prejudice. ” Plymouth County Anti-Slavery Society. Massachusetts. Plymouth County. 14 Nov. 1841.
2. Douglass. Frederick. Houston A. Baker. and William Lloyd Garrison. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. New York: Penguin Books. Limited. 1982.