Can you analyze chapters 5-8 of "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

5 details the life of black people in the 1940s, the prevailing racial tension that existed at the time, showing the resentment of Malcolm X and other young black men against the idea of fighting in WWII, and the inequalities between white and black people.  He blames white people for the situation.

6 & 7 detail his life of illegal activities which turn him into a hard, indifferent individual.   His opinion of white people is further poisoned; they become white devils. 

"Malcolm uses animal imagery to describe himself. He says, “When you become an animal, a vulture, in the ghetto, as I had become, you enter a world of animals and vultures. It becomes truly survival of only the fittest.”

"The reader strongly empathizes with Malcolm as he compares himself to a vulture. Malcolm’s sense of extreme degradation and helplessness is a recurring theme during this period of his life."

8 finds him feeling trapped by his life choices, he has hit bottom.

"I wore my guns as today I wear my neckties. Deep down, I actually believed that after living as fully as humanly possible, one should then die violently....I think I deliberately invited death in many, sometimes insane ways.”

A great transformation takes place in his life.  Even though he ends up in prison, he converts to Islam and the seeds of his future life as an activist, for which he is famous, are sown.   

More analysis see links below.


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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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