Of course, Mr. Douglass being as determined as he was, refused to believe he would be illiterate and ignorant like most other slaves. So, obviously he had to find another way to learn how to read and write. He traded food to white school boys in return for them teaching him how to read. He met with them on many occasions, whenever he could to learn as quickly as possible. Mr. Douglass began to learn to read and write without the help of Mrs. Auld.
Mr. Douglass’ determination and willingness to learn how to read and write helped him succeed at it. Although, he was illiterate, he was still smart enough to know that a skill such as reading or writing would give him power and control over slavery and the situation he was in. Knowing this gave him the determination to do anything to learn. Mentally, Mr. Douglass had escaped slavery. He knew it was only a matter of time before he escaped physically, as well.
Frederick Douglass, a young slave, went to live with a white family, the Auld family. Although, Mr. Auld was an evil and experienced slaveholder, Mrs. Auld had never had a slave before. She treated Mr. Douglass like a human being for the first time in his life. She even taught him to read and write. Mr. Douglass’ lessons with Mrs. Auld soon stopped as her husband, Mr. Auld, found out and put a stop to it as he said it would make him an unsuitable slave. Mrs. Auld grew more like her husband everyday and soon became even more cruel than him.