Malcolm X Learning To Read 50 Essays Questions

Looking back at one of the most influential figures of the 1960’s, it is hard to imagine that at age 21 Malcolm X tried to start a letter with “Look, daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat…” (X 256).He spent 7 years in prison for robbery, and during that time he underwent a self-metamorphosis.

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He was an intelligent, black, Muslim man that influenced the civil rights movement of the 1960’s.

The literary techniques that Malcolm X uses in “Learning to Read” are imagery, tone, and diction to explore his self-transformation by books.

X was known for being able to say the right thing at the right time.

The irony of a quote from page 260 shows his transformation in a way that only he could “Months passed without me even thinking about being imprisoned… ” The contrasting of him physically being in a prison and being mentally free and alive causes the reader to reflect on what exactly it means to be free..

But, as he learned more, he found the terrors of slavery and the other atrocities that the white man had brought upon the world’s non-white people.

In this period of time in which he became more versed and more aware, we see the emergence of who people think of as Malcolm X today.

Further into the book the imagery continues as he reminisces, “You couldn’t have got me out of books with a wedge…

[and] months passed without me even thinking about being imprisoned” (259).

An example of this is the story of the white man hroughout recordable history and his effect on the non-white people of the world, “The white man had brought upon the world’s black, brown, red, and yellow peoples every variety of the sufferings of exploitation.

The so-called “Christian trader” white man began to ply the seas in his lust for Asian and African empires, and plunder, and power. The narrative is a stark contrast to the first, from using books to “open a new world”, to the bleaching of history, slavery, Christian trader.


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