Emotional Argumentation: The Rhetorical Genius of Frederick Douglass, While learning to read and write ultimately helped him escape, it caused him suffering beforehand. In Frederick Douglass 's essay, "Learning to Read and Write", he describes the various methods with which he became literate throughout the age of slavery. However, there are clearer cases of irony throughout the rest of the text. More thorough understanding of slavery made him angrier with his masters, less satisfied with complacency, and more anguished at his position. ( Log Out /  The following question was asked on 14th December 2014 by one of our readers. A summary of Part X (Section5) in Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. What books does Douglass read, and how do these influence his beliefs about slavery? During that time period if one was caught doing something like that they could go to jail or be severely beaten, and Douglass needed these boys to teach him. You can use them to display text, links, images, HTML, or a combination of these. Why is it ironic that he bribed the little white boys to teach him to read? Why is it ironic that he bribed the little white boys to teach him to read? Caliban finds himself continuously ill-treated. These conflicting emotions show that while Douglass is physically free, he is still a slave to fear, insecurity, loneliness, and the looming threat of being forced back into the arms of slavery. During this time, he manages to teach himself to read and write, despite lacking any formal teacher. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. 6. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. In the beginning, Master Hugh’s other half had started tutoring Douglass, teaching him the alphabet. Learning to read did forever unfit Douglass to be a slave. Eager to discover, Douglass manipulated his circumstances under slavery to end up being literate. But – and here Auld was also right –literacy initially unsettled Douglass: ‘I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. George´s disobedience came as the result of the repeated beating and hatred received, so that made him question his master and his own position in life as being a slave: “And who made him my master? Douglass titled his speech "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" It shows the epitome of human cruelty. Douglass’ use of irony appeals on multiple levels as he continues to protest slavery and move towards advanced devices, the latter of which will conclude when he recounts. Douglass found this statement ironic because many Christians spread the idea of learning how to read and write for everyone in order to read the Bible yet slaves were restricted from this knowledge. 1. His remarkable account of his early self-education in these autobiographies includes a touching report of his companions’ universal sympathy to his plight as a … Learning To Read And Write By Frederick Douglass Analysis “This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge” (Douglass 62). Why does Douglass find this statement ironic: "It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country." As a result, Frederick Douglass is one of the originators of the uniquely American genre, the slave narrative. 6. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery. In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Mistress Sophia, having been reprimanded by her husband for teaching Douglass how to read, resolves not only to stop teaching Douglass but also to stand in the way of him acquiring knowledge by any means. America, after all, has emphasized freedom and equality for much of its history, so the phrase “American Slave” seems to be contradictory. On another occasion he states, "The negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land." I also found it intriguing that despite Mrs. Auld’s metamorphosis from having a more subtle personality to becoming to a harsh and criticizing person, Douglass found the motivation to read and write through the children at the shipyard by Master Thomas’s plantation by “writing over a number of copy-books…and continued to do this until [he] could write a hand very similar to that of Master Thomas” (255). The conditions of hard-labour that were subjected to black people by white supercilious people during colonization are mentioned by Cesaire were Prospero “forgives” Ferdinand and excuses him from his afore imposed state of slavery on the basis that they are of the same race and rank and the manual labour that was intended for Ferdinand is passed on to Caliban. Of course, given the nature of the text, it would be a crime for him to not explain to those unaware of the business of slavery the details and logic behind all of it. Why would Douglass avoid giving the names of the boys who taught him to read? Describing his stressful emotions, which happened to be situationally ironic, creates an effective emotional appeal to sympathy similar to the childhood chapters. He is taught by Sophia Auld, his master's wife. Langston Hughes investigates the emotional anguish caused by discrimination through Slave on the Block, and The Blues I’m Playing using overt racism, covert racism, and classism. Langston Hughes’s inspiration was created by his own life in Harlem, New York. A white man’s words precede an ex-slave’s words in a book detailing the life of a slave. It was learning to read. why would douglass avoid giving the names of the boys who taught him how to read? Why does Douglass find this statement ironic: "It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country." However, in reading more of his work, it seems to me that this is not the only example of irony, as Douglass seems to utilize irony quite handily throughout the rest of the book. This was the solution that black people found so as to obtain their freedom, and in this fragment of Stowe´s narrative it is best portrayed by both George and his wife Eliza. Copyright © 2020 IPL.org All rights reserved. He got that inspiration from his master Mr.Auld,when he told his mistress that it was bad to teach a slave how to read and write, Douglass realizes the importance of reading and the possibilities that this skill could help him.… Write, Frederick Douglass depicts his life as a young slave trying to read and write without a proper teacher. Irony is present during this essay as Frederick Douglass describes his previous teaching things. What irony does Frederick find in this statement: “It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this hristian country.” 5. […] what right has he to me? ( Log Out /  Douglass’s goal was not to spread his life story in order to gain fame (although he did succeed in that regard), but to bring to the public knowledge the ugly truth of slavery, and call on the idle to take action against the exploitation of fellow human beings. Have you ever wondered whether something you've read or heard is ironic … Why does Douglass find this statement ironic: "It is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country." The conditions of hard labour that black people were subjected to by white supercilious people during colonization are mentioned by Cesaire where Prospero “forgives” Ferdinand and excuses him from his afore imposed state of slavery on the basis that they are of the same. ( Log Out /  It is ironic because the white boys are privelaged enough to know to read it's a standard. Douglass learns to read when he is sold as a young man to the Auld family in Baltimore. 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