In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, the main character is Malcolm X. Malcolm is an intelligent black man, that demonstrates great leadership, ambition and is well at showing his aggressiveness in a calmly manner. Malcolm feels that the world views black people as lesser than individuals to the white man. He tries to escape this feeling by moving to different places but eventually realizes he ca not escape the truth. Minor characters that stood out to me in the book was Laura, Cassius Clay, and Elijah Muhammad.
Laura was Malcolm’s first date, he eventually ends up breaking up with her. She allowed him to observe how the black community begins to dislike themselves because of the way the world portrays them. Cassius Clay also known as Muhammad Ali was a loving and caring friend of Malcolm. When Malcolm detached from the Nation of Islam, Cassius provided a place for him to lay his head. Elijah Muhammad was the Nation of Islam’s spiritual leader, he also filled one of Malcolm’s voids which was having a father figure.
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As he struggles with health issues he becomes jealous of Malcolm due to the fact that he felt as if Malcolm was becoming too powerful, so he decided to arrange the assassination of Malcolm. Elijah was one of the main reasons why Malcolm left the Nation of Islam. Malcolm was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 19, 1925 and was assassinated in 1965. Malcolm X lived during the Civil Rights error. The Civil War demolished slavery but that still did not stop the white man. Whites were still viewed as a higher level than the black man due to the fact that whites felt that it was okay if blacks were lynched.
A rope is a good symbol symbolizing the pain blacks had to go through. Malcolm later found himself moving to Boston, New York, and Detroit. In Boston he found himself living with his sister so he could get away from negativity. He moved to New York because he was eager to see the way blacks lived. He later realized that state is full of prostitution. In Detroit is where he receives his nickname Detroit Red due to his red hair. In Detroit he lives a fast life as a hustler and drug dealer. He later moves back to Boston and gets arrested for robbing a house.
In prison is where his life turns around. Malcolm X wanted his fellow black people to have equal rights but had a hard time doing it because the white men did not want blacks to have the same rights as them. Because of this Malcolm had to do everything he could to get his point across. This included becoming a worldwide independent political leader. On his journey, Malcolm comes across many conflicts such as man vs. society and man vs. himself. Malcolm is in a battle with society because they don’t view him or his people the same way they view whites.
Amongst all of his conflicts the most important one is man vs. himself. Ever since Malcolm was a child he has been on a road to finding his true self identity. On this road he comes across negative situations. Every negative situation comes is a battle for Malcolm to choose right from wrong. Malcolm’s exposition is his family moving to a poor black community named Lansing and the rising action is the assassination of his father Earl. The falling action of the book is when Malcolm discovers a better view of the world and decides to flee from the Nation of Islam.
Malcolm finds all his problems resolved after being released from prison. He ends up turning his life in the right direction and helps blacks gain equal rights. Malcolm’s changing perspective on racism is a valid theme representing Malcolm and his experiences. I took two messages from the author, one was to always try to discover the positive hidden within the negative and the other was that there is no escaping the truth, but you can determine if you want to accept it from a positive or negative standpoint. I’m for truth no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against…I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. ” [p 338] This proves Malcolm’s ambition to discover the truth. He realizes he can not escape it so he tries to make the best out of his situation. The theme was communicated through a letter Malcolm wrote to his American friends while he was in Mecca. My favorite aspects of the book was when Malcolm experienced a positive turning point while he was incarcerated.
My least favorite aspects was when he was assassinated by Muslims just because he was trying to tell the people the truth. The authors writing style was from a personal standpoint, allowing me to make a stronger connection with the story. Not only would I recommend this book to a friend but I will recommend it to all high schools. I feel that every race needs to hear the message given to me. The message I received was to always view life from a positive view and that’s what I am going to continue doing.