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Comparison of Literacy Narratives

by Suleman

Douglas and Malcolm X’s literacy narratives try to highlight the plights which the slaves encounter in their quest for literacy skills. In comparison;

  • The narratives express how the authors are toiling to get literacy skills through homemade education. Malcolm out of the willingness to know how to express himself, had to write the whole dictionary words. However, Douglas on street whites to develop the meaning of certain words.
  • The whites are not willing the enslaved blacks to gain insight on the literacy skills. Malcolm who is a prisoner had to conceal any reading he makes from correctional officers. Douglass expresses how a tender-hearted mistress willing to guide him though was influenced and changed to stone-hearted and unfriendly. She ceased to assist him in learning alphabets.
  • Despite the struggles and tedious ways, the two authors emerge successful in getting the skills. Malcolm X and Douglass remain thirst solidly, and they finally triumph in getting literacy skills.

Despite the above similarities, the two narratives have the following differences;

  • While in Douglass narrative an initial mistress is willing to provide skills to him, Malcolm struggles to read and write on his own from the beginning.
  • The authors are in different contexts. Malcolm is imprisoned. He uses the prison library writings to teach himself to read and write. Douglas is a slave residing in a mistress house. He relies on ship writings and white peer’s interpretation to gain literacy insight.
  • Douglas is a prisoner while Malcolm is a slave. Malcolm seemingly develops a strong feeling for the indictment of slavery. Douglas finally becomes a minister after becoming literate.

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