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COMM 171 section 331

30th November 2012

Two essays that I have chosen are Prison studies by Malcolm X (1964) and What I have lived for by Bertrand Russell (1967). The reason behind the selection of these two essays is that both these essays have a common subject. Malcolm X had a passion for reading when he was in prison while Bertrand Russell had passions for love, knowledge and pity for mankind. Both of them achieved their passions. The comparison between these two essays is on authors’ background, essay structure, and tone.

Talking about the background of Malcolm X, he was a prisoner. He was barely educated and had a dark past. His course of life was changed forever while in prison through reading and broadened his vocabulary. Prison enabled him to study intensively. He became mentally alive which awakened the dormant mind lying inside him. Reading opened a new world to him and helped him transform from a criminal to an educated and passionate leader. On the other hand Bertrand Russell was an English philosopher and mathematician. He earned many awards. “He was awarded the Sylvester medal of the Royal Society, 1934, the de Morgan medal of the London Mathematical Society in the same year, the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950.” (nobelprize.org, n.d.). He was also put in jail twice.

Talking about the essays structure, What I have lived for is a five paragraph essay. On the other hand, Prison Studies is not a five paragraph essay. Russell has used stunning vocabulary in his essay which attracts readers. His complex ideas are easily grasped with his writing style. “I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy-ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy”(Russell, 1967, pp. 64). His writing style is so remarkable that he easily grabs the attention of the readers while Malcolm X has used slangs to regenerate the meaning of his essay. He has used numerous imaginary ideas by using...
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