Essay on Sympathy, And Komunyakaa 's Facing It

Essay on Sympathy, And Komunyakaa 's Facing It

Length: 2135 words (6.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

By using poetry as a medium, Dunbar and Komunyakaa are able to indirectly battle racism. Although the poets were born during different times, there is a clear division between blacks and whites, which is broken down by Dunbar 's “Sympathy” and Komunyakaa 's “Facing It.” Dunbar speaks out against racism and uses the caged bird to represent a slave within his poem. At the end of his poem, Dunbar calls for help from his black community and evoke sympathy and remorse from the white people. Komunyakaa uses an approach that addresses the similarities between both sides of the colour spectrum and addresses death, war, the difficulties of expressing difficult emotions and public confrontations between white and black people. The allegorical meaning against racism expressed in these poems would be missed if an academic analysis was not preformed on Dunbar 's “Sympathy” and Komunyakaa 's “Facing It.”
A title is always chosen by the writer for a specific reason; the same can be said about “Sympathy.” The title holds allegorical meaning and is imperative in understanding Dunbar 's work. This poem is about a caged bird and its desire for freedom. Dunbar elicits sympathy for the bird. By referring repetitively to the “caged bird” one can make the connection that the bird represents slavery. Through this relation, the title holds even more significance. In this poem, Dunbar is able to confront racism. By evoking emotion, a white person would feel sympathy for their fellow human peers and remorse for their actions. This is the theme of Dunbar 's poem, emphasized by the title.
Dunbar uses multiple literary techniques to underline the battle against racism and slavery. In the first stanza of the poem, the poet makes use of the letter “s” to c...

... middle of paper ...

...alling for help from his fellow black community. The speaker in “Facing It” fought during the Vietnam War and is also African American. Komunyakaa discusses the momentariness of life and relates to it as smoke. He connects the casualties of war to the fact that both blacks and whites suffer from fighting. The poet also conveys the inability to express emotion when out in public near white people. Through these techniques, Komunyakaa highlights the similarities between white and black people. Dunbar and Komunyakaa battle racism, and demonstrate this through their own poetry. A literary analysis is required to recognize the message portrayed in both of the poems, which confront racism through an indirect approach. Without an academic scrutinization of “Sympathy” and “Facing It,” the metaphorical stand each of the poets take against racism would be lost and undervalued.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Nostalgic Memories In Yusef Komunyakaa's Facing It Essay

- Nostalgic Memories In 'Facing It' Just as farmers brand their livestock in order to claim them as their own, humans do the same when it comes to important events. There are certain moments in one's life when an incident is so powerful, emotionally or physically, that it leaves a mark on a person forever. The branded symbol that is left could be positive or negative, but there is no doubt that it has caused a wave of all-encompassing feeling. And although when looking back at the past the majority of our memories tend to be viewed with a black and white perception, it is these rare occurrences when a certain event can be so distinct that it is like experiencing it once more....   [tags: Facing It Poetry Poem]

Strong Essays
1508 words (4.3 pages)

Yusef Komunyakaa's Facing It Poem Essay

- Many authors write poems based on experience. During a major event, such as war, authors have feelings that they want to express. African American authors were not able to express themselves throughout slavery and war. It would have been a dangerous thing to do. Therefore, they used music, writings, writing poems and stories was the best way to put out their situations. In Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Facing It,” he discusses his experience during the Vietnam War. Komunyakaa was in Louisiana during the civil War....   [tags: African American trauma, literary analysis]

Strong Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Anthem for Doomed Youth and Facing It Essay

- War is a patriotic act where one seeks the determination to lead their country. It can be viewed noble, cruel, inhumane and can make an individual a hero or a criminal. It effects everyone in a society, hoping their loved one is safe whether fighting in the trenches or waiting at home. It has led to severe individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Two poems in war literature “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen and “Facing it” by Yusef Komunyakaa, the authors’ different perspectives will be presented....   [tags: Comparative, Owen, Komunyakaa]

Strong Essays
1226 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Yusef Komunyakaa and The Vietnam War

- Yusef Komunyakaa, the poet of war, vividly describes his vacillating emotions about the Vietnam War and his relation to it as an African-American veteran in the poem, “Facing It.” Komunyakaa, the protagonist of his narrative, reflective poem, contemplates his past experiences as he promenades around the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, struggling to conceal his ardent emotions and remain hard and cold as “stone.” He writes one stanza in a dark mood, and by using metaphors and visual imagery, he paints a picture with his words for all to see....   [tags: african american, emotions, metaphors]

Strong Essays
894 words (2.6 pages)

An Analysis of Komanuyakaa Facing It Essay

- An Analysis of Facing It     Yusef Komanuyakaa's poem "Facing It" is a brutal examination of the affects that war leaves upon men. The reader can assume that Komanuyakaa drew upon his own experiences in Vietnam, thereby making the poem a personal statement. However, the poem is also a universal and real description of the pain that comes about for a soldier when remembering the horror of war. He creates the poem's persona by using flashbacks to the war, thereby informing the reader as to why the speaker is behaving and feeling the way he is....   [tags: Komanuyakaa Facing It Essays]

Strong Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Emotions of Sympathy in Romeo and Juliet

- In my essay I will be discussing the many ways in which Shakespeare causes us to feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet in the final scene of the play, after a brief summary of the events previous. In the beginning, Romeo and Juliet meet each other for the first time at a party. They fall in love and eventually decide to get married. As a result of Romeo killing Tybalt for revenge, he is banished from Verona. Juliet is being forced to marry Count Paris. A plan comes about that Juliet is to be drugged which would cause her to appear dead and therefore preventing her from having to marry Paris....   [tags: Romeo and Juliet, shakespeare, sympath, ]

Strong Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

Essay on How is Sympathy Provoked in ‘Piano’ and ‘Crabbit Old Woman’?

- In the two poems Crabbit Old Woman and Piano, both the writers use language to provoke sympathy towards a person and their situation by using the present and the past tense to build up emotions. In the poem Piano, Lawrence introduces us to his childhood using a piano. He describes to us what his childhood memories used to be like with his mother, and what comfort he used to have in her presence. The first two lines of each of the three stanzas are all in present tense and the rhyme scheme is rhyming cuplets....   [tags: Sympathy, Piano, Crabbit Old Woman, poetry, D.H. L]

Strong Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Sympathy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar: A Reflection of the African American's Struggle for Freedom

- Sympathy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar: A Reflection of the African American's Struggle for Freedom I know what the caged bird feels, alas. When the sun is bright on the upland slopes; When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass, And the river flows like a stream of glass; When the first bud sings and the first bud opes, And the faint perfume from its chalice steals-- I know what the caged bird feels. "Sympathy" was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1899, right at the end of the Nineteenth Century....   [tags: Dunbar Sympathy Essays]

Strong Essays
905 words (2.6 pages)

Techniques Bronte Uses to Evoke Sympathy from the Reader in Jane Eyre Essay

- Techniques Bronte Uses to Evoke Sympathy from the Reader in Jane Eyre The essay looks at ways and especially the people that evoke sympathy for the reader in Jane Eyre’s younger life. Bronte uses many ways to provoke the reader’s empathy and compassion. People and techniques used to do this, are shown in the following. Sympathy is evoked in the reader through Mrs Reed. Although we are given no details on Jane’s childhood before she comes into Mrs Reeds care, we may presume it was a happy one. The contrast is shown when Mrs Reed kept and held Jane separately from her own children....   [tags: Jane Eyre Sympathy Charlotte Bronte Essays]

Strong Essays
869 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Komunyakaa's Dien Cai Dau

- War is hell. The images that passed through the conciousness of those who participated in the Vietnam War left indelible visions. Rather than giving an opinion of,the war, Komunyakaa writes with a structure designed to allow the reader to experience the images and form their own opinions. The visions, images and experiences of thevietnam War as expressed by Komunyakaa vividly displays the war through his eyes and allows one to obtain the experiences of the war without being there. The title of the book when translated means "crazy soldier." This title gives the reader an immediate sense of the mind set developed by the soldiers....   [tags: Poetry, Poems]

Strong Essays
3925 words (11.2 pages)