5 March 2012
The Inspiration That Drove Frederick Douglass to Freedom
In Frederick Douglass's narrative of his life, there is a key turning point in the story when Douglass is staying with the Auld family learning the alphabet that comes to shift the inspiration and drive that existed in his life. Mr. Auld says things to Douglass in this passage that helps him understand the way that the white man feels about slaves and why they treat blacks like animals while at the same time also showing him the way out of slavery indirectly (1018). The specific passage mentioned earlier is very short, but can be seen as one of the most important parts of the entire work. Out of all the slave owners Douglass ever came into contact with, Mr. Auld can be seen in light of this story as one of the more significant. His view of Frederick also gives the reader a firsthand look at the way the slave owners in the South really thought of and looked at the black slaves during this time period. Douglass learns from many different people throughout the story and this passage mentioned is one of the key marks of the beginning of something very large in his life. He experiences some aspects of basic learning before he is forced to quit learning and in that, he ends up with the mindset needed to become free for good throughout the entire experience. This experience gives Frederick the inspiration to be educated as well as the knowledge needed to become a free man and can be seen as a turning point in the entire story.
The passage begins by setting up where Frederick was living at this time with the Auld family and how he was being educated in basic reading and English. It begins by describing how Mrs. Auld taught him, “...she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters” (1018). At first this can catch the reader off guard because...