Literary Devices: Malcolm X Essay

1330 WordsNov 26, 20126 Pages
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…show more content…
Malcolm states that he transcribed the entire dictionary, and this helped him realize that there were many words that he did not know. From there on the reader sees his dedication to literature “I printed out everything on that first page of the dictionary, down to the punctuation” (258). Instead of saying he was dedicated to books, he keeps introducing these photos of how dedicated he was to reading. 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). These two quotes are semi-abstract, in a sense, but the reader’s brain still tries to make the connection. Such as, if I was imprisoned, how hard would it be not to think of my incarceration? Or, could they really not pry him out of a book with a wedge? It’s silly, but the brain works that way. Lastly, we see imagery by X stating that he was able to read about history from outside the white narrative. He articulates it in a way that brings shame to any human who has a heart, “black slave women tied up and flogged with whips; of black mothers watching their babies being dragged off, never to be seen by their mothers again; of dogs after slaves, and of the fugitive slave catchers, evil white men
Open Document