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Initially Mrs. Aulds is kind to Douglass. She teaches him rudimentary spelling of small words. When High Auld discovers what his wife is doing, he admonishes her .He says that slaves are ruined by education. He says that learning makes them unmanageable and unhappy. This is a revelation to Douglass. Douglass now feels empowered knowing that education is the key to his, and other slaves', freedom.