These themes are common in most of the stories and poems read during this semester. It has enabled me to realize the similarities in many of the books people read everyday and what lessons are learned. These lesson can go from simple to complex. The freedom for some ethnicities in some environments can be hard because they can be easily discriminated against because of their race or their color. The masks people wear are to hide their true feelings, so they become something that people will become more accepting of and not judge them.
In the poem, Paul Laurence Dunbar employs the rhetorical device of rhyme structure to contrast the bondage of individual sorrow with the liberation of action. Although the speaker does not claim divine authority, the poem’s orator possesses a definitive tone, bolstering the argument and beckoning the audience. The first lines of the initial stanza, “I am no priest of crooks nor creeds / For human wants and human needs / are more to me than prophets’ deeds,” display Dunbar’s use of rhyme structure to connect a single idea. Dunbar emphasizes the deeds of a prophet, a religious figure chosen by God to interpret His Will, to perhaps convey that time spent discerning the Will of God causes individuals to lose sight of the wants and needs around them.
Dhrumi Patel Period:4 Mrs.Blanke Mrs.Hnasko English Lit IV A Research Paper Langston Hughes Influence on the Harlem Renaissance “Democracy” by Langston Hughes was written during the Harlem Renaissance and left a great impact on it. It helped people stay true to their traditions and made people want to fight for their equality. His real name was James Mercer Langston Hughes and was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri. His parents got a divorce when he was a young child.
In his poem “We Wear the Mask,” Paul Laurence Dunbar describes societal pressures, uses extended metaphors, and conveys the speakers troubles through various rhetorical devices like rhyme structure, enjambment and censura in order to showcase that although people may put on a happy face, a majority of them are struggling under a mask of lies and deceit, ultimately illustrating that although people may look content, it’s a façade created in order to please society. To begin, the title “We Wear the Mask” is really an extended metaphor as well as a central theme in the poem. The speaker, Dunbar, explains what the mask is in the first stanza. He explains that it’s a tool meant for fooling others, “We wear the mask that grins and lies, / It hides
This causes the readers to have an emotional reaction and it can cause them to become sympathetic for the African American population. When referring to the term injustice, the author is appealing to pathos. In the statement, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
The poem, directed towards African Americans specifically, explains the importance of standing up and making a difference and fighting for racial equality. Although the poem is not specific about race, readers know the intended audience based on Hughes’ background. If the world were
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 Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear the Mask” the speaker wears a mask to hide his internal suffering because he does not want the rest of the world to think he is weak. This poem relates the prejudice black people face against white people. The speaker starts the poem with the lines, “We wear the mask that grins and lies,” (1). Here he describes the kind of “masks” that he wears.
Hughes uses the inequality that still stands in the “free” America to voice that everyone should be equal. Hughes uses various allusions to portray the didactic meaning of the poem that the statements of a free America for everyone, is far from the truth. Making allusions to certain instances, in African American history provided a way for Hughes’ audience to understand his underlying thought. Throughout the formation of the America today, African Americans have been discriminated starting from their beginning as slaves. Hughes describes African Americans during this time period as, “the Negro(s) bearing slavery’s scars.
The poem illustrates humans hiding themselves in a certain way in which people think of themselves. Jim struggles greatly with fitting into society and remain social order. As the poem states “we wear the mask that grins and lies” (Dunbar) the quote significance is that individuals lie to hide themselves and the mask is our shield. Similarity between Jim and the poem is very similar by hiding who you really are to survive in the world. Jim has to hide who he is because he is a runaway slave from Miss Watson.
The poem I chose to analyze is We Wear the Mask, written by Paul Lawrence Dunbar in 1896. Its theme is about hiding our true feelings and emotions, and lying about who we are. When looking at Dunbar’s life history, and the political context at the time, we understand that he efficiently uses this theme in order to talk about how black people have to hide how they feel about their social status and the treatment they receive from white people. He conveys the theme to the audience thanks to a clever word choice. Indeed, he talks about “grin” and “smile”, using facial expressions as a description of the mask (Dunbar, lines 1 & 4).
In the essential sentence, the musician is recognized as an African American male referred by the term Negro, a term that is now out of date, yet was current when this work was formed. The source Poetry for Students, explains the theme of the poem as “Black Culture.” Hughes’ poem gives an image of sadness and pain. The poem expresses the culture of the old ages and the pain that the musician is dealing
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
Such personification mirrors Dunbar’s use of figurative language, which relates the poems in more ways than one. Dunbar touches on human features such as cheeks and eyes in his poem but also uses a spiritual element to advance his point of view. Furthermore, “We Wear the Mask” was written in 1896; a period in American history that was post-slavery but still had widespread discrimination. The spiritual connotation within Dunbar’s poem can allude to African American churches and/or the hymns slaves sung on plantations. Nevertheless, the struggle of African Americans is a symbol of both presented
One of his most famous works is “Negro,” which is a poem that highlights African American identity through the personification of African American heritage. The narrator is the personified figure that connects African Americans by explaining historical allusions that contributed to African American heritage and culture. This personified narrator enhances the theme of unified heritage among African Americans in the poem “Negro” with the use of structure, historical parallels, and historical context. One of the ways the use of personification in “Negro” enhances the theme of unified heritage is by manifesting African American history and experience structurally into one person, who is also the narrator. Hughes wrote this poem in the first person, so the poem is laden with “my,”