In the novel, An American Slave, by Fredrick Douglass, he describes an event where he was getting taught the alphabet by Mrs. Auld and wanted to continue to learn how to read and write. First she taught him the alphabet and then after he learned it, Mrs. Auld helped him spell words that consisted with three of four letters. While he was still learning, Mr. Auld found out about this and told Mrs. Auld to stop teaching him. He said it was unlawful and unsafe to teach a slave to read. Mr. Auld also said that if Douglass learned to read, it would do no good, cause a great deal of harm and make him both discontented and unhappy. When Douglass heard this, he was determined to learn to read and write so he bribed some white boys with bread to teach him. He learned how to write using Thomas Auld's copybooks for practice. The more he learned, the more unhappy became because of what he found out about slaves. In one event, he learned about the abolitionists from the newspapers and two Irish dockworkers told him to run away to the North, where people would help him. From that day, Douglass was determined to escape.
The main generalization about this event is that he continued his want to learn to read. Even with the obstacles put in front of him, he didn't let that stop him. He tried everything he could to succeed to learn how to read and write and Douglass did just that. Mr. Auld's judgment to tell Mrs. Auld to stop teaching him didn't get Douglass down. Instead, he was motivated by the comments Mr. Auld made about a slave shouldn't learn to read because it wouldn't fit him as a slave to learn. Once he learned, it did make him sad and dissatisfied but it also made him stronger in a way. He knew how slaves really lived like but he didn't let it get to him. Douglass had was strong-minded on escaping, which was one way it really showed how he became a stronger person both mentally and physically. This event was one of the major points in his life because without being literate, he wouldn't be able to write this book and won't even be able to accomplish what he has done.