When Douglass states, "I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out, "What is the horrible pit he speaks of?
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The horrible pit is one of enslavement and illiteracy. Douglass, in his own way, feels cursed by his knowledge. His knowledge led him to understand his condition, but it didn't provide him with a way to end it.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass