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On page 153 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X dicusses the reasons for...

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ibleed | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted August 1, 2012 at 2:25 AM via web

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On page 153 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X dicusses the reasons for telling his story the way he does, full of all the "details" of his sordid past." Reflect on his motivation for telling his story the way he does.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 1, 2012 at 2:41 AM (Answer #1)

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As the retelling of the narrative begins to take shape and form, Malcolm recognizes that the autobiography is going to be one of the last elements with which he is associated.  I tend to think that his desire to reflect on everything and divulge all of the details of his life, however "sordid" they may be, is a reflection of his desire to leave something as a legacy for others.  Malcolm recognizes that the telling of his life in an honest matter will accomplish two purposes.  The first is that it can serve as a testament for others who suffer from the same conditions that Malcolm suffered.  In this way, his words can serve as a way of providing inspiration to those who must overcome the challenges of racism and discrimination in America.  I believe that another purpose in ensuring that the work is told in the direct and specific manner it is is to give homage and praise to God. The ending in which Malcolm credits God will all of his successes and suggests that "only the mistakes are mine," helps to bring to light how much Malcolm recognized his life was in danger and the need to ensure that credit is given to the Almighty becomes one of his primary motivations.  It is in this light that Malcolm is able to demand that he tell the narrative of his life in an honest manner where "sordid" natures of his reality are evoked in the name of something higher and more elevated.

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