This week’s forum, I was provided Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave- Chapter One. The theme came across as ignorance and education is the key to freedom. During that time period, the ignorance of people thought it was natural owning other people. They were viewed as being wealthy by how many slaves they owned. Frederick Douglass narrative was written with ironic tone. He writes about enduring various forms of abuse, invoked fear and torment to which he overcame but struggled. Education was never provided to slaves as it was a sign of being equals not just in society status but as that of human beings.
Due to the years of being mistreated and torment that Frederick Douglass faced and witnessed, he reached a breaking point especially with Mr. Covey’s treatment towards him. “(Mr. Covey seemed now to think he had me, and could do what he pleased; but at this moment–from whence came the spirit I don’t know–I resolved to fight; and, suiting my action to the resolution, I seized Covey hard by the throat; and, as I did so, I rose.)” (Douglass) Douglass fought back and after this fight with Mr. Covey, he was never laid a hand on again. Education was the key to Douglass’ freedom.
When reading this story, it reminded me of Pygmalion by Shaw due to the treatment of Eliza. Not only the approaches were the same with ironic voices and imagery. Eliza was always treated as nothing more than a flower girl with uneducated speech. She lowered her expectations and self-esteem as she was never treated properly even by her own father. Both works show Douglass and Eliza rising up against their oppressors. Took what education was provided and shared it forward with others.
Douglass, Frederick. “Documenting the American South.” 1999. https://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/douglass/douglass.html December 2018.
Shaw, Bernard and Phillip M Parker. Pygmalion. n.d. 14 February 2006.