The Autobiography Of Malcolm X: An Analysis

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It is not uncommon for people to forget that many renowned influential figures originated from humble beginnings and suffered through great ordeals to become the well-known symbols of change that are written across history books. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley reminds the world of this fact through his beautifully detailed account of the life and hardships of the great human rights activist Malcolm X. The structure, style, and content of the novel advance the author’s purpose of conveying the changes Malcolm undergoes to become one of the leading voices in the call for African American equality, and contribute to the power and beauty of the text that immerses the reader in the story of Malcolm’s transformation. In order to drive …show more content…
The exposure to black culture and trends awes him, and he does everything he can to immerse himself completely within it. However, part of the racial identity of African Americans during this time was to view themselves as higher-ranking if they could look and act like whites as closely as possible. Although the future Malcolm is ashamed to admit it, the Malcolm Little in Boston transforms himself from a naïve country kid into a Boston regular who does everything he can to fit in. He conks his hair to make it look like a white man’s, speaks nearly every word in slang, and wears off-brand shoes and zoot suits to give himself an appearance of wealth. During this time, however, Malcolm also begins to notice a richness within black culture that appears to be absent within the white man’s world. This view becomes most apparent within Malcolm’s descriptions of lindy-hopping with the other black people of Boston. In this section, the author uses short sentences with charged word choice to fully convey to the reader the new kind of energy that Malcolm experiences. This can be seen when he says, “I just about went wild! Hamp’s band wailing. I was whirling girls so fast their skirts were snapping…Boosting them over my hips, my shoulders, into the air” (Haley 62). This lively imagery shows the excitement and energy that Malcolm feels as he drifts farther and farther from the person he used to be and beings to transform into an experienced

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