What factors led to Malcolm's anti-social behavior in his early life?

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brendawm eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the above, when in Boston, Malcolm quickly became involved in urban nightlife, passing for being much older than he was, wearing flashy clothes, gambling, drinking, doing drugs, and dating an older white woman. He eventually took a job as a railway porter, moved to New York, and began working as a hustler in Harlem where he ran numbers,sold drugs, and commited armed robberies. Needless to say, he was eventually arrested and imprisoned.

janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think there are a lot of factors that led to Malcolm's anti-social behavior in his early life, for one his father was murdered and his mother put into a mental hospital, and for a while he was living in a detention home. Until he moved in with his sister, he had to survive on his own. he internalized all of this.

revolution | Student

He quickly adopted zoot suits, slang languages, drugs and gambling all into one, showing that he is easily mesmerized and seduced to the night-time lifestyle. He was adopted as a hustler, signifying to a big degree how moral decay and detestation can ruin life in a ghetto.

What make him change his way of life and behavior could have been all caused by the traumatic experience he encountered when he was young. His father was murdered by whites and white agents institutionalized his mother, leading him to wide open racism in his pathetic and detestable life, so to leave this "white world", he left for Boston but still felt that all the racism had not diminished, but even exaggerated in the cities of the country.

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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