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March 2, 2008

EL 336 - 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. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow- slaves for their stupidity." (Dougllass pg. 100)

It is just another side of the ability to read that not many people think about. They say knowledge is power right, but what if you are in a situation such as Douglass? All the effort he had put into being able to real, but he got there and the delivery was not at all what he wanted. Though he went on to do great things, at this point in his life, reading books had done him no good. I do wonder if in a historical way, these enlightenments of slaves were some of the reasons early cultures were not into the idea of print books. It was sad to read this passage, but it is probably still a grim reality in some countries. It was uplifting to read about his learning about the word abolition. It made me happy to see that in his instinct, he knew he should do everything to learn about this word. Funny how things work out.

Posted by RachelPrichard at March 2, 2008 11:24 PM


I was particularly impressed by Douglass' resolve to learn how to write by getting little bits of knowledge from the world around him and the younger boys in the neighborhood. It must have required a lot of patience.

Posted by: ChrisU at March 4, 2008 10:10 AM

It is interesting that it was in fact reading that lead Douglass to draw the conclusions that his situation of enslavement was not a good one. Rather than be unchanged by this knowledge he used it to motivate himself and liberate his mind. His discovery of the word abolition was also a very moving passage of the reading. Imagine living in a time when you were denied basic human rights because of the color of you skin. And like you said it is still going on in some countries today.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at March 12, 2008 1:04 AM

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