1. The purpose of Malcolm X’s story is to show the audience the heights of pain African American’s faced to conform to the ideas of society. His pain is evident when he states that “the comb felt as if it were raking my skin off,” and “my head caught fire.” Malcolm’s use of figurative language creates a harsh, painful tone. These comparisons depict how African Americans endured enormous amounts of pain to fit in with white society.
Initially, Malcolm describes conking his hair; however, throughout his narrative exists an underlying meaning containing much more depth. His portrayal of changing hair styles goes beyond what he is literally saying in his narrative. Malcolm confesses that he suffered greatly to have his hair look straight “as any white man’s.” Malcolm’s confession builds up to the absurd acceptance that “black people are inferior – and white people are superior.”
Malcolm uses the purpose of his story to aid his larger idea that African Americans are “ridiculous,” “ignorant,” and foolish to alter their looks “to look ‘pretty’ by white standards.” The larger purpose of his…show more content… Malcolm uses his thesis that African American people “will even violate and mutilate their God-created bodies to try to look ‘pretty’ by white standards” to connect back to his personal narrative. He proves to the audience that the thought of conforming to fit society was “ridiculous.” Malcolm refers to himself as “stupid”, and refers to his conk as the first stop to “self-degradation.” In everyday life – even now- people alter their bodies in order to be accepted. Acceptance is believed to be acquired through subtle changes such as dyeing one’s hair, getting tattoos, or piercings. Face-lifts and other plastic surgeries are endured to make more drastic changes to become what the world considers beautiful. Malcolm uses personal examples rather than abstract examples to provide credibility and prove to the audience that most people make changes while they are too naïve to