In the autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,"" the power of education is the most important theme, but the one with the most inconsistent meaning. seen as important and crucial to human growth, however, the downside to it does not appear to be looked at as often. Frederick Douglass makes a point in his autobiography by showing the reader how a lack of education, how being naive can, for some, be blissful. Douglass is aware that knowing how to read and write are both very important, yet he wishes that they did not come with the discovery of the full extent of the horrors of life, which in his case, would be slavery. Although becoming educated and literate allowed Douglass, in time, to escape from slavery, become a public speaker on the abolition of slavery, and write a powerful autobiography, it made Douglass's life as a slave much worse, therefore making him think that learning was something fraught with danger and disappointment. .
Frederick Douglass came quickly to realize that knowing how to read and write came with the ability to understand the harshness of the world on a whole new level. Having gotten his hands on a book called, "The Columbian Orator, " Douglass was able to read denunciations of slavery and learn about human rights. He was also able to learn much more about slavery and his slave masters. Douglass said, "The more I read, the more I was led to abhor and detest my enslavers"" (51). Douglass viewed them as band of robbers, who had gone off to Africa and stolen him and his fellow African Americans from their homes. He came to understand that his slaveholders were more wicked than he could have ever imagined. This newfound knowledge tormented Douglass, making every day spent enslaved, a painful one. Because of the pain education brought upon Douglass, he once said, "As I writhed under it, I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing"" (51).