There are a lot of odds and an obstacle that blocks people from the learning; nevertheless, a higher level of education or knowledge is required to obtain more opportunities, freedom, and human rights in the deceitful world. In the way back past, Peoples’ race and environment deprived their chance to learn. People are still struggling to educate themselves with the same reason. In essays “Learning to Read,” by Malcolm X, “The Joys of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me,” by Sherman Alexie, and “Learning to Read and Write,” by Frederick Douglass, shows three steps of how they overcome educational odds and obstacles. They all have a motivation that leads them to the middle of the education, strive moment to obtain knowledge, and goal that they desire earnestly.
Sherman Alexie motivated by his father, who cherish all books. He said, “My father loved books, and since I love my father with an aching devotion, I decided to love books as well.” (23) Since he starts to love books, he read all the linguistic forms he found. Even, Alexie reads words with passion, his circumambient and classmates strongly disapproved of his knowledge because of his race, “As Indian children, we were expected to fail in the non-Indian world.” (24) Succeeding disturb gave him a strong desire to break down the door for his race. He said “ I throw my weight against their locked doors. The door holds. I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives.” (25) Alexie strived against the prejudice of Indian by educating himself and people who are still struggling to overcome educational obstacles.
Frederick Douglass starts to teach himself when Sophia, his mistress, teaches him how to read and write. “Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet,” (126) His mistress ignited to his passion of hunger for knowledge. In the 19th century, where he lived, had a strong prejudice to slaves. They weren’t able to learn or receive support from anybody. While Douglass endeavor to learn how to read and write, he faced a faint hope that he can earn the freedom, “ … things which had the desired though unexpected effect; for the conversation resulted in the voluntary emancipation of the slave on the part of the master.” (127) After Douglass realize there’s a way he can become a freeman, he starts to read books, and actually, he enjoyed it with passion. He mentioned, “I read them over and over again with unabated interest.” (127) Since Douglass have a strong desire for the goal, learning becomes his most enjoyable moment that can easily overcome educational and environmental odds.
When Malcolm X wrote a letter to his leader, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm wasn’t able to write a decent letter. “I became increasingly frustrated at not being able to express what I wanted to convey in letters that I wrote, especially those to Mr. Elijah Muhammad.” (240) He realized that knowledge and education are essential to misunderstanding-less communication and share his thought correctly. Since Malcolm X was in prison, he had a hard time to teach himself, but he found his way to build his knowledge. He starts to copy the dictionary from A to Z “That was the way I started copying what eventually became the entire dictionary.” (242) When Malcolm X reach to a higher level of education, he became fully aware of human rights and civil rights. “If the American black man will start thinking about his human rights, and then start thinking of himself as part of one of the world’s great peoples, he will see he has a case for the United Nations.” He starts to his second life as a human right activist for minor races.
Every people, who are trying to educate themselves, will definitely face educational odds and obstacles. Motivation, endeavor, and strong desire will become three steps of stairs to overcome educational obstacles. Sherman Alexie, Frederick Douglass, and Malcolm X also had educational odds, but they reached a higher level of education, and they obtained higher knowledge with these three. Motivation will ignite people’s’ passion, endeavoring will make it burn explosively, and strong desire will keep fuel to people’s passion.
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