September 15, 2005

Frederick Douglass Blog

1. Personal Traits

The most important personal trait in Frederick Douglass's education was his self motivation. After he was given a small sampling of teaching at a young age he never gave up on attempting to learn how to read and write. Even though his original instructor turned against him and scolded him anytime she saw him with anything sort of reading material in his had, he never gave up. His motivation to one day learn to read and write, despite already knowing he was a slave for life, was the key personal trait that allowed to accomplish this with very little outside guidance. Another major personal trait was his curiosity. He always wanted to learn more about what was going on in the world and wanted to be like everyone else. Therefore, he tried harder than ever to read whatever he could and attempt to memorize how it was done so that he could one day master it.

2. Exterior Forces

There was not a lot of encouragement from the outside world for Frederick to one day learn to read and write. Frankly, it was seen as a horrible accomplishment. The thought of slaves learning to read and write was considered a travesty in the world at that time. He defied the odds to be able to accomplish these feats. The only exterior forces that helped him was his mistress for a short time, the kids that lived on Philpot Street, and random magazines or books that he could get his hand on. The only one of these that truly stood out was the kids he met on Philpot Street. He gives them a great deal of gratitude for originally helping get him started in his story. They were the key outside source that can be given any credit.


I liked how he overcame the odds and managed to learn these forbidden skills and become the guy he is today. I thought that the sly methods that he used to learn; like tricking white kids into helping him and memorizing the letters off of a ship were creative and impressive. I did not like how his original teacher just turned on him and refused to help him learn. However, he was too driven to learn after that and that is how he became the guy he is today.

at September 15, 2005 5:12 PM