Malcolm X Learning To Read Short Summary University Essay Example

Bintu Sesay “Learning To Read” In “learning to read” Malcolm X takes the reader through his journey of educating himself whiles being incarcerated. An articulate and former street hustler that commanded attention with only his presence Malcolm X talks about not realizing how ignorant he was to his own self-knowledge until he lost his freedom to the inside world of a penitentiary. He realized the only words or sentences he could put together were those of simple sentences not far from a child’s vocabulary.

Malcolm X uses ethos to give the reader knowledge on who he was and what lead him into such a situation of being incarcerated in the Norfolk prison. He uses credibility to point out the facts that whiles being a street hustler, he didn’t focus on the bigger picture which was obtaining knowledge and widening and expanding his none existent vocabulary. Whiles in the process of educating himself Malcolm X learned about the Islamic religion. He became an orthodox Muslim. This led him to change his name due to the Islamic teachings of Elijah Muhammad.

He uses logos logic meaning to persuade the reader that he started out not knowing anything but how to survive as a street hustler. Then later on checking out books from the prison library and underlining and highlighting words he was not familiar with which ended up helping him expand his once none existent vocabulary. Which later on helps him with his journey as philosopher and spokesman for black separatism. Malcolm X talks about the struggles he went through just to continue enjoying a great book. He would work around the prison guard times only to continue reading late at night. At one-hour intervals at night guards paced past every room. Each time I heard the approaching footsteps; I jumped into bed and feigned sleep. ” (p. 213) He also uses pathos to describe his sense of thoughts and feeling as each word he read started to become more and more understandable. Malcolm X also learned about his back ground and other African American like himself. He learned about slaves such as Nat Turned He went on educating himself more and more. By reading more books that educated him on his history.

Aurora By Junot Diaz Summary

The story, which relies heavily upon sexual references and drug use, opens with the first-person narrator and his friend, Cut, buying a stash of weed, some of which they use as they drive home to sort, weigh, and bag. The cut is eating cookies, but the narrator is waiting for his girlfriend. He notices that the places where she’d scratched him are healing. When she arrives, he notes that she’s skinny “like a twelve-year-old” and that she has the shakes, coming down off some drug.

They have sex, and she begs him to “go easy,” but he’s high and hormonal and hurts her, anyway. He feels bad about it the next morning. “A Working Day” is the next section in the story, wherein the protagonist and his friends are out selling drugs, including the marijuana they bought the day before, but also some cocaine. They sell to kids and older people.

Junot Diaz’s Aurora is a short story that illustrates a less than perfect relationship between the narrator and his on again-off again, drug-addicted girlfriend.

The two lovers have anything but a healthy relationship, though somehow they always stay connected. The story takes place in a gritty part of New Jersey, and the author uses literary elements such as tone, character, and point-of-view to depict a realistic and volatile relationship between two lovers. The overall tone of Aurora is realistically laid out and unforgiving in the use of profanity and sometimes harsh descriptions. The narrator is truthful and doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. The reader is easily able to develop a real sense of discord throughout the story.

Some may describe Aurora as a short story with offensive language, but without Diaz’s blatant use of word choice and description, the story would not have the same impact on readers. Diaz’s use of character throughout the story gives the reader a realistic view of the world of drug abuse, domestic violence, and the urban setting of some of New Jersey’s Dominican inhabitants. The narrator doesn’t sugar coat anything, nor does he give excuses for his lifestyle and behaviors. The characters are transparent and candid.

The narrator’s girlfriend is described as being a drug-addicted homeless teenager who is unpredictable and lives each day as it comes. The relationship between the two is strained at times, and although there is major dysfunction between them, they always come back to one another. Through specification and detail, the reader is able to relate to the characters’ struggles with one another and connect to their heartbreaking story. The point of view of the narrator is straightforward and honest. His use of detail, even when it makes him look like a bad person, allows the reader to develop a sense of trust for what is being described.

Through the author’s use of dialogue, the readers are able to get a better sense of the other characters’ personalities, how they feel about the relationship between Aurora and the narrator, and their general goals throughout the story. Through the narrator’s admittance of his own faults and the faults of the other characters in the story, the audience is able to trust that what is being told is accurate and reliable. Diaz brilliantly utilizes the literary elements of tone, character, and point of view to depict a love story that is unconventional, yet genuine. Aurora is anything but a fairy-tale, which gives a modern and original appeal.

Diaz gives not a glorified love story, but a sad account of what often happens in everyday life.

In this episode of Diaz’s work, the narrator and his friend, Cut, are drug dealers living in a poor neighborhood. They deal with drugs to “a lot of kids and some older folks who haven’t had a job or a haircut since the last census” (51). They are small-time dealers but do well enough to drive around in a Pathfinder. The narrator has a girlfriend named Aurora who is addicted to drugs. She recently spent time in juvenile detention. Their relationship is more distant since she came out.

Analysis The narrator stays with his drug-addicted girlfriend, Aurora, even though their relationship has changed: “We were tighter before she got sent to juvie, much tighter” (54). She focuses more on her drug habit than on her boyfriend. She longs for his affection especially when they were separated but her longing is not as strong as her addiction. Nothing is as strong as her addiction. Her boyfriend stays with her because he still has feelings for her. Her drug habit comes between them and they make the best of it. Diaz’s use of the plot is ironic because he is a drug dealer.

The narrator sees the effects of drugs on both sides. He benefits from other people’s dependency. But drugs also hurt him because Aurora’s addiction interferes with their relationship. They don’t spend much time together because she goes away to the Hacienda to be around her drug-addicted friends. Still, he imagines a different ending to their story: “I’d put my arm around her and I wouldn’t let her go for like fifty years, maybe not ever. I know people who quit just like that, who wake up one day with bad breath and say, No more. I’ve had enough” (61). He wants her to quit but he doesn’t know how to make her stop.

As a dealer, he knows how to supply addiction but not how to stop it. He wants to hold on to the past because he hasn’t accepted the fact that their lives have changed. He doesn’t want change in his life and to let her go would allow change. Even Cut advises him to cut his losses: “Stay away from her, Cut said. Luck like that doesn’t get better. No sweat, I said. You know I got the iron will. People like her got addictive personalities. You don’t want to be catching that” (63). Cut sees that their relationship is headed for disaster and that his friend is turning a blind eye to it.

He gives him advice so that he can really think about the troubled path he is on with Aurora. Although he does not supply her with drugs, he does nothing to help her beat the habit. In this way, he is ignoring the problem and living the fantasy of a normal relationship. He supplies to people just like her but doesn’t make the connection. He helps destroy the lives of other people and does nothing to help his girlfriend who is destroying her own life.


  1. Why is the main character’s name left out? Is this a novel or a group of stories?
  2. How do the tone and content of Diaz’s work differ from other Latino writers we have read?

The Kite Runner – Symbols

Analyse how symbols are used to develop an idea in the text. Four paragraphs: Kites The fight between Amir and Assef The Lamb The move to America “ Tourist” Theme: “Redemption can be attainable even in the worst of circumstances” “There is a way to be good again. ” Marks a point in Amirs life when he truly discovers redemption can be attainable even in the worst of circumstances. After years of dnial, lies, hiding and ignorance this phone conversation with Raham Khan plants the seeds for Amirs ultimate redemption.

Khaled Hosseni’s The Kite Runner explores this theme as Amir faces emotional and physical hardship in an effort to quash the ghosts of his past. Throughout the novel Hosseni uses symbols to help illustrate Amir’s guit and his road to redemption and how peoples motives change, the sacrificial lamb shows how courage is needed to stand up for what we believe in, the move to America shows that we do not need money and power to be happy and finally the fight between Assef and Amir shows the ultimate redemption.

A kite generally holds connotations of peace and serenity but in the beginning of The Kite Runner Amir and Hassan use the kites in battle, and become a multilayered symbol of guilt and happiness. Flying kites is a passion of both Amir and Hassan and as they win the national kite fighting championship Amirs finally wins a spot in the heart of his torn father.

But after this competition the kite takes on a very different significance to the boys as Amir witnesses Hassans rape but does not step in, in the fear the perpetrators will steal his victory prize and his father will see him as a failure. Ironically Amir not standing up to the boys meant that he had become “ The boy [I] his father was afraid he would become. ” Amirs actions that day and his failings to step in and save amir switched the symbolism of the Kite from victory and happiness to a sign of betrayal and guilt.

Amirs guilt means that he can’t stand to be in the same house as Hassan so he frames Hassan of theft and force his father to fire him. This is the last time Amir would see Hassan. But despite all of these adversities Amir many many years later finds his redemption as the novel closes, Amir and Hassan orphan Shrobha are flying a kite, again the symvolism has done a complete turn around and the kite signifies happiness and the fact that even in the worst of circumstances redemption is attainable.

Significantly the roles have also reversed as Sorbha cuts a kite Amir runs it looking back over his shoulder he yells “ For you a thousand times over” the same words Hassan yelled on that ill fated day. bring outside world into this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sacrificial lamb is another significant symbol used throughout The Kite Runner as is Islam and Christainity the Lamb is used as a innocent sacrifice. Amir describes both Amir and Sohrab as “Looking like Lambs waiting to be slaughtered. as they come under fire from the malicious Taliban. This is significant because Amir and Sobah are both innocents who are figirutivly sacrificed by being raped. But even thought Amir was the spotless Lamb that had to be sacrificed on Amirs table of sin it is Amir who saves the oppressed Sorbha from the same physical torture presented by the Taliban. This is a very strong act that shows how redemption is possible……

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