The Significance of Knowledge and Education in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

March 18, 2021 by Essay Writer


People appear to be scared of things they don’t have knowledge of. Knowledge is what contributes to liberation. So once people understand their fears, they’re going to set them free in life. Freedom is the life slaves would like to experience. Living without anyone’s threat. Knowing yourself is the first step towards freedom. People are able to achieve physical, mental and spiritual independence. Knowledge will lead people to control which is what slave masters tend to avoid. Of course, slaves escape to freedom physically, but their education allows them the power of will to do it. When Fedrick Douglass was born he didn’t see freedom as anything, since their masters would keep them ignorant from the rest of the world.

The Slaves’ Lack of Knowledge

Slave masters will prevent slaves to know anything outside their labor work. They wanted it to stay this way so that their slaves would be obedient and they would stay content. Douglass states as he wrote that his age is approximate and not accurate since his owners did not want to let slaves hold some sort of information. That’s the first indication of the slaves ‘ lack of knowledge. The only form he learned was what Douglass saw and experienced. As he saw slaves singing songs, he began to understand that the life of a slave is awful. He says that because he knows how miserable they sound when they sing.

The Masters’ Technique

Douglass became more conscious of how slavery impacts not only the slaves but also the masters. Douglass heard across the age of six or seven that he’ll have to be taken to a new plantation house in Baltimore. His new mistress had never once owned a slave, therefore Mrs. Auld didn’t know how to act towards him. Mrs. Auld started teaching Frederick the alphabet, but once Mr. Auld knew, he scolded her. After Mrs. Auld lost sight of slaves as human beings, since it was believed that slaves would rebel and enslave the Whites if they were ever taught. From the result that they would become dissatisfied with their way of life. By scolding her Mr. Auld unintentionally exposed the technique by which slave masters would manage blacks as slaves and by which they can free themselves. When Douglass heard this, he realized what he had to do in order to escape to liberty.

Learning to Read, Write and Think

In short, education helps him to understand slavery inequality. Until Frederick learns how to read, write, and think for himself about what truly is slavery, then he won’t be able to escape.He was touched by a book called The Columbian Orator, which included many articles about anti-slavery. The article allowed Douglass to fully comprehend the slavery issue, but it also makes Douglass profoundly despise his owners. Douglass ‘ frustration has now become deeply intense, as Mr. Auld had expected, as he recognizes the cruelty of his circumstance. Throughout this time, Douglass listens actively to anyone who speaks about slavery. He also encounters the term ‘ abolitionist.’ Douglass finally discovered that the word means’ anti-slavery’ in a local journal’s report of an abolitionist’s appeal.


Once he had knowledge, Douglass was finally able to engage in abolitionism. He was also awake and aware of the truth of slavery. Frederick would help in teaching other slaves who would then willingly escape with him. Learning to read also permitted Frederick to create false documentation. With the knowledge, Frederick was mentally prepared to escape, and he did. In his personal narrative, it didn’t exacly state how he ecasped as slavery was still legal; he didn’t want slavesholders to know as the way the escaped was still being operated. The significance of education is part of human potential development, equality advancement, and liberty achievement. Frederick felt education and knowledge was crucial to empowerment.

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