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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass
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Please give three examples of how education helped Frederick Douglass in his path to obtaining freedom?

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Frederick Douglass's acquisition of literacy changes his life. Mrs. Auld, his slave mistress in Baltimore, begins to teach him to read before she realizes that this practice is disallowed under the cruel practices of slavery. As Mr. Auld explains, "[Reading] would forever unfit him to be a slave" (page numbers vary by edition). Mr. Auld understands that reading changes Frederick Douglass's life because it provides him with a sense of confidence and mastery that he could not otherwise have. This is the first way that education helps Douglass obtain his freedom. The second way that education helps him is that he becomes acquainted with the arguments against slavery. For example, he reads The Columbian Orator, a series of speeches that give him the beginning of arguments against slavery. This is the start of his work as an abolitionist orator. Finally, education helps him gain skills that he will need as a freed man, providing him with additional confidence that he can support himself when he escapes northward. 

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