How do I begin a literary analysis of Malcolm X's "Literacy Behind Bars"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Most introductions should start with a hook, or an engaging first sentence. After that, relevant context follows and then your thesis statement. The relevant context, in this case, will be rhetorical context because you are writing an analysis. Rhetorical context sounds fancy, but all it really means is that you briefly explain the main idea, the purpose, and the audience of the work.

Main idea and purpose are often confused, but they are not always the same. The main idea explains what the main point of the text is, while the purpose explains why the author took care to say that main idea in the first place. For example, the main idea of "Literacy Behind Bars" could be that reading in prison liberated Malcolm X in a way, but the purpose could be to encourage others to embrace literacy. You will need to narrow this statement down into how he was liberated and what form of literacy he wants people to embrace for your assignment.

The audience is tougher to determine. You will want to think...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 535 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team