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What is the differences between the Malcolm X in the Autobiography and the Malcolm X...

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vennesk | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2011 at 3:01 PM via web

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What is the differences between the Malcolm X in the Autobiography and the Malcolm X Alex Haley describes in his Epilogue?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2011 at 8:37 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the primary differences is one of voice.  The Malcolm X that emerges in the Autobiography is told in his voice and through his own experiences.  This is filtered through the lens of race, socio- political theory, and background narrative.  One understands this because it is the nature of the autobiography format.  Yet, the voice that emerges about Malcolm X from the Epilogue is a bit different.  It shows how the human being was enduring the times of change that both he initiated and were around him.  For example, the manner in which Haley describes the last months of Malcolm's life allows the reader to fully peer into what it is like to live in the brutal shadow of death.  The Epilogue also does a great job of describing the funeral services for Malcolm X, Ossie Davis' hauntingly beautiful eulogy, as well as the overall impact Malcolm X had on Haley, an individual who does not fit the profile of one of Malcolm's followers.  In the Epilogue, I think that the reader gets a better and more whole vision of Malcolm, one that is both inspired and separate from his own words and voice.  It is this reason why I think the Epilogue is as valuable as the autobiography itself.

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