To begin, the sound of this poem can be proven to strongly contribute an effect to the message of this piece. This poem contains a traditional meter. All of the lines in the poem except for lines nine and 15 are in iambic tetrameter. In this metric pattern, a line has four pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables, for a total of eight syllables. This is relevant in order for the force of the poem to operate dynamically. The poem is speaking in a tenor of veiled confessions. For so long, the narrator is finally speaking up, in honesty, and not holding back. Yet, though what has been hidden is ultimately coming out, there is still this mask, a façade that is being worn. In sequence, the last words in each of the lines, again, except for lines nine and 15, are all in rhythm, “lies, eyes, guile, smile, subtleties, over-wise, sighs, cries, arise, vile...
... middle of paper ...
... not even once does it talk about blacks or racial prejudice. In other words, the poem itself is wearing a mask. On the other end, it unambiguously exhibits Dunbar's emotions as a frustrated black man. In other words, it removes all facade and deception. The mask is gone. What is then left is a poem that obscures everything and reveals everything at the same time. However, if the reader views the narrator as a kind of universal voice, rather than a specific man, then the paradox does not hold. In the final instance, the overall language could relate to anyone of any race who veils his or her emotions in order to move on in the world. Generally, with that message being defined, the notion alone would not be possible, without the sounds and visual imagery that is strongly impacted throughout this piece.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear The Mask” cleverly talks of the black condition in a language so universal that it could apply to any race of people that tries to hide their emotions from the world in order to survive. Dunbar argues for the reality of the black man’s plight in America, the black man's struggle for equality in the world, and the struggle for peace within. These are circumstances of the poet’s life that influenced his writing of the poem. PARAGRAPH 2: Background information on your author or document.... [tags: Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask, ]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- Analysis of We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a renowned piece of literature that has been the subject of various literary criticisms over the years. Because of the poem’s indirectness and generalized ambiguity, the interpretation of the “we” that wears the “mask” and why they do so is left unanimously undisclosed. It is up to the interpreter and the support given by the interpreter to produce a valid representation of the meaning that lies beneath the mask.... [tags: Slavery Racism We Wear the Mask Essays]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- William Shakespeare once proclaimed that “the past is prologue.” Are we really bound by history. Is our present a mere continuation, a monomorphic continuation if you will, of the novel that is our existence, or can it be developed in a bifurcated fashion. Paul Lawrence Dunbar, prominently noted as the "Poet Laureate of the Negro Race" (p 905) is a prime example of how the past can be depicted in a multifold manner. His two works " We Wear the Mask" and "An Ante-Bellum Sermon" illustrate the double-consciousness that Dunbar was most notorious for.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Paul Laurence Dunbar]
1759 words (5 pages)
- Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” is a lyric poem in which the point of attraction, the mask, represents the oppression and sadness held by African Americans in the late 19th century, around the time of slavery. As the poem progresses, Dunbar reveals the façade of the mask, portrayed in the third stanza where the speaker states, “But let the dream otherwise” (13). The unreal character of the mask has played a significant role over the life of African Americans, whom pretend to put on a smile when they feel sad internally.... [tags: Literature]
1260 words (3.6 pages)
- Paul Laurence Dunbar, dispatches the cold troubles of African Americans in the lyrical poem, "We Wear the Mask." In this poem, Dunbar links imagery, rhythm, rhyme, and word choice to in order to institute a connection to the reader. From reading the poem, one can infer that Mr. Dunbar is speaking in general, of the misery that many people keep concealed under a grin that they wear very well. But if one were to go further and take the time to research Mr. Dunbar’s selection of this piece and the era of which this poem was written, one would come to understand that this poem focuses entirely on Paul Laurence Dunbar’s viewpoints on racial prejudice and the struggle for equality for the African-... [tags: Literature]
1514 words (4.3 pages)
- The poem We Wear the Mask by Paul Dunbar is filled with many powerful statements. Dunbar talks writes about how there is so much hurt behind people’s smiles and so much pain in their past. He also asks why society should be “over-wise;” it tries to act like it knows what is best for people. The play An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has a lot in common with this poem. Nataki Garrett who was the director of this play at the Mixed Blood Theatre saw how well this poem went with the play, and she added it into the program.... [tags: African American, Race, Racism]
710 words (2 pages)
- It is human nature to always want more. We are born with innate capacity to pursuit a better life. In order to meet this self-actualization drive, migrating from on place to another is the fastest way to meet this conscious desire for personal growth. During the early nineteen-hundreds the great migration to the northern United States brought hope to those who desired better life, a life full of new opportunities for African Americans, a life away from the racism and prejudice feelings that the south brought.... [tags: African American, United States]
978 words (2.8 pages)
- The poem “We Wear the Mask” sheds light upon what it was like to be an African American raised in a white-dominated society. In particular, the poem essentially expresses the classification of African Americans in post-slavery America. Dunbar’s concept of “The Mask” correlates to the black women in Atlanta due to the fact that the women endured vigorous amounts of pain and brutality. Not only were they shamed for their skin tone, but for their gender as well. It became a daily hassle for women to go about their lives due to the fact that they were not only a woman, but a black woman living in a predominantly white society.... [tags: Black people, African American, Race, Negro]
1390 words (4 pages)
- Poet writers use different poetic devices in their poetry to beautify the poem and to engage the reader by making the writing more interesting. Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first black American poet that was well recognized during his time. He helped cover the way artist of the Harlem Renaissance. Dunbar poem "We Wear The Mask" was published in 1896 which it was a time when Plessy vs Ferguson took place, which the law required racial segregation in public facilities under the belief of separate but equal.... [tags: Black people, African American, Poetry, Suffering]
1076 words (3.1 pages)
- “We Wear the Mask” There are times in life where we are forced to do something we do not really want to do. There are certain situations like this that come to my mind. Every so often, my family gets together. As a teenager, I do not want to be confined. I realize some of my relatives are a lot older than me and I should spend as much time with them as I can. When my family gets together, I frequently am forced to go to these events and put a smile on my face. I am acting. I am putting on my “mask” and pretending that I am happy.... [tags: essays research papers]
579 words (1.7 pages)