Paul Laurence Dunbar Analysis

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Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar were two remarkable poets. Maya Angelou was born in Marguerite Johnson in St Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 1928. Writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou is known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller of an African-American woman. After experiencing health issues for a number of years, Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014, at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872. He was one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition. He was the only African American in his high school class and he became class president and class poet. He died in Dayton, Ohio, on February 9, 1906, at the age of thirty-three. Both poems I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and We Wear The Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar express the oppression and lack of freedom in their society. Both of the poets uses literary devices such as imagery, metaphor and symbolism.

I know why the caged bird sings, the speaker uses imagery to visualize the things that are happening through the poem. One example is “ Dips his wings in the orange rays and dares to claim the sky (line 4-5).” As you read this quote from the poem, you can imagine the beauty of the sky the orange rays
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“His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing (line 8-14)”. While the free bird enjoys his freedom, the caged bird is so sad because he is caged and he started to sing. In we wear the mask, the speaker uses metaphor, thought the poem to point out how we express ourselves with people and with a mask on. One example is “We wear the mask that grins and lies”( line 1). This line shows how people use the mask to show grins. The mask means that people hide what they really are with fake smiles and
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