The Autobiography of Malcolm X


The Autobiography is a spiritual conversion narrative that outlines Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-Africanism.[6] Literary critic Arnold Rampersad and Malcolm X biographer Michael Eric Dyson agree that the narrative of the Autobiography resembles the Augustinian approach to confessional narrative. Augustine's Confessions and The Autobiography of Malcolm X both relate the early hedonistic lives of their subjects, document deep philosophical change for spiritual reasons, and describe later disillusionment with religious groups their subjects had once revered.[7] Haley and autobiographical scholar Albert E. Stone compare the narrative to the Icarus myth.[8] Author Paul John Eakin and writer Alex Gillespie suggest that part of the Autobiography's rhetorical power comes from "the vision of a man whose swiftly unfolding career had outstripped the possibilities of the traditional autobiography he had meant to write",[9] thus destroying "the illusion of the finished and unified personality".[10]

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