What does Douglass learn about man's power to enslave another human being in Chapter VI ?
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Douglass hears Auld explain that when a slave learns to read and write he is no longer fit to be enslaved; he becomes intractable, unmanageable, discontent, and rebellious. Douglass is flabbergasted at Auld's explanation and immediately decides he will do everything in his power to attain literacy. Literacy for Douglass is not only about liberating himself but also about integrating him into society and community - which were continually denied to him as a slave. Royer notes that when Auld explained why literacy was not appropriate for slaves, Douglass figured out that his master was not just talking about freedom but also his psychological wellbeing and his ability to take control of his own psyche. If Douglass was literate he would no longer be able to live in the system of slavery; he would be outside of it and try to run away with himself. Literacy "transforms the child-slave into a free-man."