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The struggle for freedom is one that is common among both women and men of all races For centuries humankind has used many methods to control and enslave their fellow men and women one of the most common being the denial of an education The lives of Frederick Douglass in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by himself and Sara Smolinsky in Bread Givers written by Anzia Yezierska are two excellent examples of the struggle to educate oneself in the pursuit of freedom While their social circumstances were quite different Frederick Douglass was a black male slave in the South in the early to mid 1800s and Sara Smolinsky was a Jewish immigrant growing up in the lower east side of New York in the 1920s they were both held captive by their oppressors Frederick Douglass was a slave in the legal sense and Sara Smolinsky was enslaved by her father Both discovered that gaining an education was the key to their quest for freedom Frederick Douglass came to this realization when he was about eight years old He had gone to live with his new master and mistress Mr and Mrs Auld Mrs Auld taught Douglass the alphabet and had also begun to teach him how to spell small three of four letter words when she was ordered to stop by her husband Just at this point of my progress Mr Auld found out what was going on and at once forbade Mrs Auld to instruct me further telling her among other things that it was unlawful as well as unsafe to teach a slave to read 22 It would make him discontented and unhappy 23 Frederick Douglass then realized the value an education holds From that moment I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom 23 Douglass had learned that his master feared his gaining an education for it would increase his desire for freedom and possibly enable him to
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