How does each writer begin his / her piece? With a metaphor? With an event? How does each end? Why are the beginnings and the endings important?
Before or as you read think about the context for each piece (you don’t need to post a response to this question): Who is the audience for each (the original intended audience, most likely)? What’s the purpose of each piece? What are the historical events that bear on each piece? In the case of Malcolm X, when was the piece published? When was he assassinated? Why is this important? What autobiographical events in Amy Tan’s life have bearing on this piece she wrote?
Think about the style of writing in each. How would you characterize Malcolm X’s writing style? What about Amy Tan’s style? Which kind of English does she write in, using her terminology?
What did you take from these pieces in terms of the relationship of language and identity? Can you relate to them in any way?
If you had to pose a question or point out an insight you had for the class about either of these pieces (or both), what would it be?