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...
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...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.
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