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Question of the Day: HiSET: Language Arts - Reading

Adapted from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (1845)

      I lived in Master Hugh’s family about seven years. During this time, I succeeded in learning to read and write. In accomplishing this, I was compelled to resort to various stratagems. I had no regular teacher. My mistress, who had kindly commenced to instruct me, had, in compliance with the advice and direction of her husband, not only ceased to instruct, but had set her face against my being instructed by any one else. It is due, however, to my mistress to say of her, that she did not adopt this course of treatment immediately. She at first lacked the depravity indispensable to shutting me up in mental darkness. It was at least necessary for her to have some training in the exercise of irresponsible power, to make her equal to the task of treating me as though I were a brute. 

      My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender-hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another. In entering upon the duties of a slaveholder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that for her to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so. 

Based on these lines, what inference can we make about Frederick Douglass learning to read and write?

"During this time, I succeeded in learning to read and write. In accomplishing this, I was compelled to resort to various stratagems."

He had to devise schemes to learn to read in spite of challenges

He mostly learned to read and write from his mistress

He was unable to learn to read and write

His education in reading and writing was relatively straightforward

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