So, for the past few lessons in my English class, I have been reading the Autobiography Fredric Douglass, another slave who revealed the cruelty of the system he found himself trapped in.The first seven chapters or so cover events that happened before he was even 20, and they were still unbelievably horrid. The effects that the slave system had on slaves was bad, but the effect on slave owners was equally as terrifying. It was almost like a poison, as he described. Today, my assignment is about something that impacted me, similarly to what Douglass experienced. It says: “Has any event in your life had the same impact that learning how to read had on Douglass’s life?”

Let me first explain why reading was so important to Douglass. Since he was a child, he had been a slave, and as a slave, he was treated no better than a horse. They didn’t get much clothing, food was given in poor rations, and they basically owned nothing. But, one of the most important things not provided was education. Now why is that a big deal, you ask? Well, it was believed that if a slave was taught how to read, they would become discontent and unhappy, and he would be useless as a slave, and when Douglass heard about reading and writing, he knew it would be the key to his freedom.

Now that you’ve seen how important reading was to Douglass, have I ever had an experience with the same life altering impact? Well, to be honest, no. If I’m honest with myself, not much impresses me, meaning I don’t really have a huge reaction to things that would seem controversial to others. For example, most teens would be exhilarated at the idea of owning their own vehicle, but when I got a truck, my reaction was: ” wow, cool.” The only thing that has sparked the most genuine enthusiasm in my life was when I went to a Floridian beach for a month.

So there you have it. Maybe it was not the answer you would have expected, but its an honest one at least. In my opinion, I think Douglass had a lot more reason to see reading as life changing than I do, with many other things, in this day and age.


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