Many times people have said that appearances can be deceiving, or that appearances are not what they seem. This can be proved true with the characters in a novel. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, she shows many examples of this in her writing. The story covers a few characters who the readers eventually get to see and know more about, who demonstrate a theme of how people are not always what they seem to be. As a result, the readers learn about these characters that they are not as crazy and irregular as they are viewed, but far different than their appearances suggest. The author of this book presents the fact that people’s demeanors can often be misleading.
The author took human nature into account when writing this book because she made the characters realistic in the way that they have flaws. One of these common flaws that the characters shared was the fact that they all wore masks.
Masks hide the truth and obscure the facts. They form a barrier between what is real and what is an illusion. Yet, during from the moment blacks were brought to this continent in chains, to the moment they were granted civil rights in the 1960’s, masks were a method of survival. Another way of life for African Americans was the practice of signifying. Signifying is mostly seen in the black literary tradition as a means for African Americans to take back power from the white through misinformation and deception. In Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, masking, and signifying serve as methods of survival for the narrator, as well as ways for malicious outsiders to take advantage of the narrator.
The authors ability to create a dynamic character that has no identity and searches to find one is a feat attainable only by the best. The narrator’s motivations to buy the disguise may have begun as just a way to hide, but ended up being much more. The narrator continues to wear them as a way to have a new identity and to feel more important and less “invisible”. By knowing why the narrator wore a disguise, how he felt, and knowing the symbolic significance of wearing them we are able to have a deeper understanding of the character and his
Some people in high school are pretending to be at a big masquerade party. They wear masks pretending to be someone different from who they really are, and convince the people around them to see there mask as their true self. Many of the teenagers in the book Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes wore masks to hide who they really were. The students revealed their true identities and how they felt by writing and performing poetry on Open Mike Fridays in their English class. The main character, Tyrone Bittings, is a judgmental, confident, observant teen that reveals who he truly is through learning and listening to poetry.
Have you ever had a day when you are too embarrassed of yourself that you wanted to hide by wearing a mask? Masks are used in various ways, they can be used for a Halloween costume or a stage play. The astonishing thing is that those masks are visible to others. In the Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the characters such as Myrtle Wilson, Jay Gatsby, and Daisy Buchanan use masks that cannot be seen with the naked eye, they used them as a way to hide their flaws to others.
The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of a clergyman and a black veil that scares all who see it.
The Harlem Renaissance was a period in American history, which occurred in the 1920s in Harlem, New York. The cultural movement was an opportunity for African Americans to celebrate their heritage through intellectual and artistic works. Langston Hughes, a famous poet, was a product of the Harlem Renaissance. One notable piece of literature by Hughes is “Dream Deferred”. However, the discussion of African American culture isn’t limited to the 1920s. Paul Laurence Dunbar showed the potential struggles of being African American in his poem “We Wear the Mask”, written fifty-five years prior to “Dream Deferred”. Both poems share similar tones and themes. “Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes can serve as a sequel to “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar through displaying a cause and effect relationship which highlights the strength of neglect and disguises.
In the community, the townspeople believe that since the minister is wearing this veil he has something to hide. These people don’t want anyone to know their sins, causing them to wear a “mask”. Since they are living in a Puritan community they believe that no one should do anything wrong, and if they do, no one should know about it. When people hide who they really are, they become scared of what will happen when people find out that they have sinned. Being true to yourself and to others is the main theme in this
Paul Laurence Dunbar uses conflict in “we wear the mask” to get his point across about African Americans being treated unfairly after slavery ended. He talks about how Africans Americans being happy because slavery ended but they still wasn't being treated like everyone else. Paul uses conflict by arguing that the life of African Americans are still being treated unfairly after slavery was over. Paul uses the quote “We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise.” which means that African Americans are happy slavery over but they are still sad that they still get treated unfairly. In conclusion that African Americans should be treated like everyone else, they are just like us and should be treated like us.
The novel To Kill A Mockingbird exposes the reality behind the mask that people wear to protect themselves from ideas and thoughts that they have but don’t want to accept because they are scared to be vulnerable to society and possibly themselves.
As I read, Paul L. Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask” I was interested in how he described what a mask represents. It is true that a mask was used to hide a person’s pain, emotion, or mood before the day known as Halloween developed. I love how Paul refers the use of the masks as a black or white person’s escape from other peoples’ worried faces. No one can ever understand what someone else is going through. People can never truly speak their truth or let out their suffering. Paul being one of few African Americans to speak his truths on the events he witnessed wrote this poem to show that no one should hide their thoughts or opinions behind a fake face or facial expression. The poem is like a fake speech on how the masks cannot shade your struggle.
Throughout life people struggle to find their true self, and following social order. In the novel The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn the characters Jim and Huck have an issue with following social order and struggling to survive on the run to freedom. With similarity from other sources such as the movie Catch me If You Can and the poem “We wear the Mask”. These sources all share similarity to Mark Twain’s novel. Throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry finn, Catch Me If you can, and “We wear the Mask” shows the relationship and similarity between the following sources through Huck and Jim having similar characteristics.
In “We Wear the Masks,” Dunbar displays the oppression and pressure that the black community faced in the late 19th century. With remaining unjust laws and unforgetting former slaves, Dunbar evaluates the saddened and fake expression that his community faced. His title indicates that the newly freed black population in America could not truly be themselves but had to wear a “mask” that made them acceptable to the white population. Dunbar unites his community by projecting them as a whole encountering a new form slavery together. The poem aims to express how the black population was forced to hide their continued suffering in order to not endanger their newly gained freedom. He writes, “We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries / To thee from
The Mask You Live In begins with a George Orwell quote "He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it". The use of this quote in the documentary is to explain how men and young boys create a façade in which they live their lives behind. They put on a show for the world, while living behind this falsely created persona of happiness and security. The mask is the hard shell that young men are expected to face the world with. They are expected to show only their best selves and hide their insecurities and worries.