Malcolm X and Paule Marshall comparison paper.
Malcolm X and Paule Marshall exhibit very distinct characteristics with respect to their reading choices, practices, and development. Similarities, however, are also apparent. Specifically, they are both African American, and both belonged to the lower class. Both of them read voraciously, and were self-motivated in developing their reading skills. Major differences include the ages at which their interest in reading developed, the material which they read, and their personal motivation for reading.
Malcolm X and Paule Marshall are quite different with respect to how their reading education began. Malcolm X came to understand how important reading was for him while he was in prison. He became frustrated about not being able to write letters to Mr. Elijah Muhammad, whom he looked to as a leader. Also, quite simply, he could not understand books at all. "I really ended up with little idea of what the books said," remarked Malcolm X. His frustration became determination; he began to feel a huge desire to learn. To get himself started, he began copying the dictionary; eventually, he had copied the entire dictionary -from sections A to Z. Marshall, compared to Malcolm X's later start, began reading when she was about eight years of age. She continued to read extensively throughout her adolescent years. "I sheltered from the storm of adolescence in the Macon Street library, reading voraciously," said Marshall. Unlike Malcolm, she read as her personality developed. Many of Malcolm's characteristics, in contrast, had already formed .
Malcolm X and Marshall do show some similarities in their reading development, though. At the beginning of their reading experiences, they both read randomly, reading anything and everything they could acquire. Marshall explains that "[she] read voraciously, indiscriminately." Malcolm X read all kinds of books on a variety of topics, from philosophy to history to religion.