Analysis Of Malcolm X's Learning To Read

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In Malcolm X’s autobiography written in 1965, X illustrates his “Learning to Read” and the pursuit of knowledge. As a Muslim African American Civil Rights leader, the author articulates his illiteracy that later transforms into the motivation of learning how to read and write. Throughout persistent discovery of knowledge, X has explored a great number of inequalities and contradictions existing in contemporary society. X uses a lucid and detailed description of his early days and numerous facts to achieve his thesis of the pursuit of knowledge. X’s irate tone aims at the discriminated African American community and “White” people who are ignorant about their own history; additionally, “Learning to Read” inspires colored people who are being…show more content…
In his early life, the author depicts an illiterate who knows slangs but who is not “functional” (para. 2) of writing. X takes advantage a series of commas that connects numerous clauses to exhaust reader and implicitly to empathize his hardship of articulating ideas. He “stumbled upon” (para. 1) his jealousy of an educated inmate and starts to read books that look as though are in “Chinese” (para. 3). By repeating words such as “aloud,” “read,” “myself” (para. 8), the author implies behind these tedious tasks, more importantly, is his persistence. Many Malcolm X’s diction is denoting. His passion for knowledge comes from the new words he has learned, of which he feels “immensely proud” (para. 9). He is wholehearted to “devour” (para. 15) new concepts, to accumulate “a million words” (para. 10) vocabulary, and to be like the prison “celebrities” (para. 14) he admires, who are very knowledgeable. While his diction is already in simple English, he expects his tone to be more friendly. After a dozen of paragraphs, he begins to shift his diction in second-person point of view. He states figuratively that even with a “wedge,” “you” (para. 11) cannot separate himself with books. Additionally, colloquial sentences evoke a sense that they are on a common ground, where a trusted friend is sharing his experience. This adds on his automatic ethos as a public educated and articulate…show more content…
Upon the ethos he has built, he appeals to logo by sharing more facts from worldwide history about the white people. X sets off with the fact that although the available history is excessively “whitened” (para. 19), genetically, the origin of humankind is still believed to be black. Under this condition, Malcolm X is “shocked” by the “total horror” of slavery, and “monstrous crime, the sin and blood” (para. 27) the white men has done. This use of pathos renders a view of a vulnerable black man who has suffered from the white’s injustice. He attaches this view with vivid yet miserable anecdotal imagery of black women “tied up and flogged with whips,” babies “being dragged off” (para. 28). His condemning diction creates a haughty and haunting attitude of convicts: “the fugitive slave catchers, evil white men,” (para. 28) are “like devils, pillaging and raping and bleeding and draining” (para. 29) colored people in the world. These facts lead to his perception of contradictions: these “religious” (para. 31) but “cannibalistic” (para. 33) people, who have taken advantage of “Chinese-invented gunpowder” to “[declare] war upon [Chinese] who objects to be narcotized” (para. 34) and later treat Chinese as dogs (para. 37). These facts emotionally and logically prove X’s anger and inhumane white people in the
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