Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, "We Wear the Mask," delivers a poignant message in fifteen brief lines. On one hand, the poem pays tribute to the historical struggles of African-Americans. Specifically, Dunbar explores the thought that many African-Americans disguised their true feelings during the racially tumultuous period between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. His moving words suggest that the African-American community of this time often wore "the mask that grins and lies" to avoid drawing unwanted attention to themselves.
Born on June 27, 1872, Paul Laurence Dunbar is one of the few greatest African American poets of his time. Paul Laurence Dunbar is responsible for a great deal of poetry, including “Sympathy” as an exclamation for independence. Surprisingly, Dunbar was one of the first poets to write in both English and African American dialect which appealed to both. Like most of Dunbar’s works, Sympathy, according to English professor, Joanne Gabbin in his analysis, “Intimate Intercessions in the Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar” states: “…the inevitable theme of African American literature since black poets tried to sing in a strange land” (228).
Throughout human history, cases of racism, segregation, and the denial of woman’s suffrage have made ubiquitous appearances in America; in simpler terms, the natural rights of African Americans and women have been ignored. In these times of injustice, two obscure American citizens, a poet and a speaker, made monumental influences on the rights that people have today. Paul Laurence Dunbar, a great African-American poet, and Susan B. Anthony, a woman’s suffrage activist, each wrote a great piece of literature that showed their struggles for equal rights. Although Dunbar’s poem, “Sympathy,” and Anthony’s speech, “After Being Convicted Of Voting In The 1872 Presidential Election,” have the same theme of having equal rights among everyone, these authors’ purpose and expression of these two texts have different aspects to it that set it
Chris Semansky’s critical essay on “Theme for English B” unravels what the poem Langston Hughes composed is about. Semansky gives many arguments as to what each part of the poem signified. For example, he explained that Langston’s poem could have been an act of rebellion to educate the teacher by the student. Also, it was to illustrate the student’s intellectual power and infinite identities. The “Theme for English B” was not only about who the student was in Semansky’s outlook, but also schooling the teacher about something much deeper than the surface. How, when the instructor examines the poem, he could either sense the students underlying meaning or not even notice it. Also, Semansky sheds light on the fact that the student is testing the
A minute to smile and an hour to weep in" is exactly how Paul Lawrence Dunbar begins his poem, "life". In the poem " life" Paul Lawrence Dunbar discusses the sadness in life, but demonstrates how that sadness and emptiness can be overcome with by a bit of happiness you have in your life. Although this is a relatively short poem, it does a great job of portraying the good and the bad that comes with being alive. To get his point across Dunbar uses figurative language to convey the meaning of life.
Parallel structure and anaphora are found in the poem. In the first two stanzas, the phrase "let it be" is repeated at the beginning of lines. Hughes repeats this phrase to let America know what he is fighting for and that he will not stop fighting until his mission is accomplished. Later in the poem, the phrase "I am" is repeated over the course of three consecutive stanzas. Hughes says that he is a part of many groups of Americans that are being oppressed and are the victims of inequality. By repeating "I am", he establishes credibility to talk about this issue and puts himself into different groups of people so it does not seem like he is the only one struggling with the fight. Hughes knows how blacks are not the only group of people being oppressed so he includes other groups of people. Parallel structure is also found several times in the poem. One example of parallel structure is found in the ninth stanza. In this stanza, the word "of" is followed by a verb and the sentence ends with an exclamation point. This use of parallel structure highlights the wrongdoing of the whites in America. He lists all of the wrongdoings using the same structure to show that the different ways of oppression are not above one another; they all require the same level of attention and condemnation. In the thirteenth and fourteenth stanzas, Hughes employs parallel structure again. Hughes explains that the
I was reading some of Langston Hughes’ poems. Do you know who Langston Hughes is? Well, he is one of the most influential poets I have ever encountered. His life and work are shown through his writing, the daily life of a black man. Hughes knows how to use beautiful and gruesome words to describe his life, he once said “Life for me ain 't been no crystal stair It 's had tacks in it...”(Mother to son) That is the gruesome part of his writings, he voices the truth of our past. Hughes is very popular in the Harlem Renaissance His poems were not always gruesome, some where quite whimsical! I have to admit, I am feeling the creativity throughout his poems, I can not help but try to write my own. I wanted my words to come to life and for others
To convey the brutality and animosity of “The Troubles”, Seamus Heaney expressed his thought-provoking opinions in the form of poetry. His collection of poems called “North” specifically portray the violent and hatred of The Troubles during 1968 to 1998. The Troubles refer to the sectarian warfare and division between the United Kingdom and Ireland. During this time period, political infighting occurred and caused conflicts that eventually lead to a bloody and brutal war. The North collection utilises various historical context while also stylistically allude to the bygone era of the Vikings and the discovery of the bog bodies of the Northern Europe in order to emphasise the endless occurrence of brutality and violent events. “The Grauballe Man” is an allegorical poem that conveys the political crisis and regional warfare happened in Northern Ireland. During this time period known as “The Troubles”, violent and animosity erupted and spilled over like an active volcano. Noticing the brutality and adversary, Seamus Heaney figuratively utilises the context of The Troubles and elicits his message towards the act of brutality. The context of the atrocious event inspired the poet to voice his opinions and utilise poetry skills to convey his message. The poet employs multiple literary devices as well as alludes to certain historical events in order to emphasise his understanding and his vision towards the society.
Poetry is a piece of literature where the author shares his ideas of a subject or person. He is attempting to allow the reader an understanding of his feelings regarding this subject. Most of the time poetry can be very pleasing to the ear; however, at times it can be written in a manner that is odd. Some poetry is written in a way that the reader can “hear”, “feel”, “see” or “taste” elements in the poem. Some poems may rhyme while others may not need to in order to convey the message. Some poems may have a strict structural form while others may not. The writer can incorporate one of many poetic devices into his work to relay his message to the reader. Examples analyzed today include poetic sound, onomatopoeia, alliteration, rhyme, meter, and verse.
In the poem, "Theme for English B," by Langston Hughes, one of the most prevalent themes is the underlying similarities between races. Towards the end of the poem, Hughes, addressing his instructor, says, "You are white -- yet a part of me, as I am a part of you." This statement stresses that although they are different colors, they can still make a difference in each other 's lives and overall, they are more alike than they know.
Poems are short meaningful pieces of literature that can be interpreted in multiple ways depending upon the reader at hand. That is what makes a poem unique compared to other literature pieces because in a poem the author tends to use figurative language to fulfill meaning behind their work. One poem “Love is a Sickness Full of Woes” by Samuel Daniel describes the pains of being lovesick. Love can either benefit us if nurtured and cared for, but if not tended to then let loose can ultimately hurt us. As to another poem “American Solitude” by Grace Schulman describes a life of solitude being most warming to the soul to ward off loneliness. To avoid the affect of feeling lovesick or unwanted, a life of solitude is a choice indeed. The two authors have two different aspects of life in how one should live to
Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first African-American poets to receive widespread recognition from both the Caucasian and African-American communities released many pieces of literature expressing his feelings throughout his life during the Reconstruction era. Two of these pieces, “We Wear the Mask” and “Sympathy” were short poems that veered from his regular dialectic pieces, aimed at aiding in Reconstruction, and held hidden rebellions against the mistreatment of African-Americans at the time the passages were released. The African-American and Ethnic Literary Studies critical approach is a tool used while critiquing pieces of literature that hold common themes or elements tracing back to slavery and segregation in early America. This approach
Not all of us choose to keep climbing through life’s obstacles. Yet some choose to go through life’s discomforts; like the diligent mother in Langston Hughes poem, “Mother to Son.” She addresses the son in a colloquial monologue about her life’s hurdles and hardships by never giving up; “For I’se still goin’, honey,” (18). The mother also persuades her son to not give up; “So boy, don’t you turn back.” (14) “Mother to Son” uses extended metaphor and imagery to reveal the mother’s persistency and determination to her son, explaining all of her life’s anguished situations.
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is widely considered as one of the most successful African-American poets of all time. He was also a columnist, playwright, novelist, and social activist for African-American rights. Consequently, Hughes wrote all sorts of literature about 20th century African-Americans living in Harlem--a major black residential within the Manhattan borough of New York City--and soon became an extremely influential figure in the Harlem Renaissance, which was the rebirth movement of African-American culture in the arts during the 1920s. Hughes also had great admiration for music, and was inspired by a variety of genres/musicians such as boogie, Bach, jazz, and blues. His special love for blues music caused