Literary Devices: Malcolm X Essay

Words: 1334
Pages: 6

Well Read
Most of us learn to read through various outlets such as television, books, movies, etc. Becoming literate is essential to functioning in society. 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. His way of putting it is “books opened up a whole new world to me” (260). History, philosophy, genetics and a whole dictionary all contributed to his learning process. But, as he learned more, he found the terrors of slavery and the other atrocities that the white man had brought upon the
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The details are convenient to forget and for a reader who isn’t as well-versed in history, and the illustration that is provided can make a connection between them and X. X’s tone throughout the essay is the most effective tool that conveys his message. X was seen as a strong leader through his time as a social activist, and almost too radical in his ideas (the reason he isn’t a main part of history for public school). His tone ranges from light (where we get his beautiful imagery) to angry nearer to the end of the essay. To accentuate the differences in the two parts of his essay, two drastically different quotes are seen close in the essay. The first relates to him opening the dictionary, Malcolm says “I spent two days just riffling uncertainly through the dictionary’s pages. I’d never realized so many words existed” (259). His tone sounds akin to a schoolboy talking about a first day of school. The tone changes later in his essay. His use of tone here may have made the reader go back and reread the section again to fact check because it is hard to hear. An example of this is the story of the white man throughout 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