Frederick Douglass

Essay by lettucelettuce November 2014

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Response to the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

A flashlight pierces through the darkness as the resonance of hundreds of timid footsteps echo through the spacious valley. The footsteps come to a gradual halt while the leader of the group hastily pulls out a piece of paper and studies it thoughtfully. Not a single noise can be heard as Juhi studies his map, antiquated and discolored from overuse. Except for the weak luminescence from the flashlight, the entire valley is completely dark. Juhi quickly wipes the trickling sweat off his forehead in a thinly veiled effort to disguise his nervousness. Being the only educated person here, all of these people have faith in me and it is my responsibility to protect them. I cannot afford to let them see me like this, he scolds himself. After hours of expert maneuvering through the intimidating mountains at night, Juhi feels a humongous load lift from his shoulders as he spots the radiating lights from a city.

Every taunt I've ever heard, every setback I've ever faced from learning about who I am and what is happening to me has done nothing to stop me from educating myself and reaching freedom. A proud smile plasters Juhi's face as he bounds into the land of opportunity.

In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, Douglass describes the learning process as threatening and haunting instead of invigorating and joyful. "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing, it has given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out" (Douglass 54). While most people believe that learning is vital part...