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). We realize he’s talking about the mask, and not the real emotions of the person, thanks to a contrast between negative …show more content…
It is, obviously, a symbolic one, that is meant to hide the suffering of people. It hides everything, “our cheeks and […] our eyes”, and “the eyes [being] the mirror of the soul”, the mask hides the inner you. (Dunbar, l. 2) (Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra). But, in addition to the hiding, there’s also the lie about the emotion. Indeed, the mask isn’t only meant to hide the emotions, but also to create new ones on the surface, as we can see when the author said “We wear the mask that […] lies” (Dunbar, l. 1). Beside his word choice, Dunbar connects the reader thanks to literary devices. We can notice an alliteration in -m in line 5, with the words “mouth” and “myriad” (Dunbar, l. 5). This alliteration emphasizes these words, and, as a consequence, the word “subtleties”, which follows “myriad” (Dunbar, l. 5). We can also notice the allusion to the Christian religion, with the reference to the “Christ” (Dunbar, l. 10). It reflects the theme perfectly, because the Christ suffered a lot, especially when he carried his cross, but he never failed to show his pain, hiding his suffering. Moreover, it helps connect the reader to the poem, since some people were and are …show more content…
The reason why I chose it is that its theme is really similar to Dunbar’s poem’s theme. Indeed, it is about hiding the deceiving reality in order to protect ourselves and our relatives. The theme, however, doesn’t have the same political engagement as Dunbar’s poem. The word choice used by the band reflects the theme. Indeed, we have positive words associated to negative ones, such as “dreams […] fail”, which show the disappointment experienced by the narrator (Imagine Dragons, l. 5). This disappointment, the singer wants to hide, as he repeats several times “I wanna hide the truth” or “There’s nowhere we can hide” (Imagine Dragons, l. 9 & 12). He associates what he wants to hide to a “beast” and to “demons”, which shows how he despises what he feels. As in Dunbar’s poem, he refers to the eyes, saying that “it’s where [his] demons hide”, repeating this sentence four times by chorus, which emphasizes the desire to hide his suffering (Imagine Dragons, l. 19). The band uses allusions to religion, as Dunbar did, with terms such as “saints”, “demons” and “hell” (Imagine Dragons, l. 2, 19, & 34). We can even say that the “kingdom” the singer mentions can be a religious allusion to heaven (Imagine Dragons, l. 15). The author connects the reader thanks to different literary and figurative devices as
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Whether the child’s intentions are good or bad, this mask of innocence helps the wearer get what he/she needs which is not to get caught. Even though we many not know it, we all wear masks to meet our needs such as to gain acceptance, for protection, and even for money. Even if the wearer 's intentions are good or bad, masks always are useful and help the wearer get what he or she needs. One of the important needs people have is to protect themselves. Wearing a mask is one way people do this.
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.
Starting at a young age, people are very impressionable and willing to believe anything they are told. The common tale of the Tooth Fairy is one of the most common examples of childhood misconception. At a young age, we are told that when we lose a tooth and put it underneath our pillow at night, a magical fairy will come claim it and give a cash prize in return for the tooth. Eventually, the belief in this story fades as children mature and learn that the supposed “tooth fairy” is actually the child’s parents. Likewise, when children are told stories by their family members or teachers about American history, they have no reason to doubt such stories, automatically assuming they came from credible sources.
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.
People act differently when they are with certain people than when they are alone. Some will call this act a “mask.” This metaphor is used because people cover up who they truly are or what they really feel with their actions; similar to the way a mask covers up a person’s face. This idea of a mask is explored in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “We Wear the Mask” and readers can see examples of “masks” in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. People often wear masks to hide something about themselves that they are not proud of or hide their emotions and fears they do not want others to know.
From the interpretation of the audience, Dunbar and his strong desire to be free is greatly expressed through his poem: “Sympathy” and his relationship with the caged bird who only wishes to be
It is true that many people today wear masks to fit into society. However, the suppression of one’s self can render the person miserable and I think that it is living a lie. In fact, I believe that Hawthorne was trying to say that one can never truly get rid of who they really are.
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. The mask is incredibly relatable to the social construction of gender, because it was created through the social construction of gender. Young males would not need to create a mask and live behind it if society didn 't force them too.
This poem means that people would wear masks to be protected by other people. Also, this poem shows that the black community tries to hide their identity in the Harlem Renaissance, because they knew they would get no respect if white people saw their color. This poem helps bring out the best in people because it shows them that colored people didn't have it easy in life back then. Next I chose the poem Mother to Son written by the poet Langston Hughes about how collaboration and the community would help to bring out the best in some people. In this poem it talks about crystal stairs and how you shouldn't give up.
A third example of Dunbar’s theme of racial inequality is found in the line “Beneath our feet, and long the mile/ But let the world dream otherwise.” The use of feet walking a long mile show us that Dunbar was trying to convey the message that perhaps there is still hope at the end of the journey. But his use of the word mile still indicates that there is a long journey ahead before people can reach the salvation that they desire (Carroll
We wear the mask of collaboration and communication. People wear a different mask everyday because people have different ways of expressing themselves. It talks about how there are many masks and how we can hide ourselves but people wear a mask to show a better wey that they feel and lie about how they feel because people don't want to show how they really feel sometimes. People wear their mask to hide their expressions and to act like they feel different so no one notices that they are not really happy or good. How Collaboration and
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.
For instance, the following lines underscore the limitations of human understanding: "We cannot tell what comes or what may go, / We cannot say why joy or sorrow flows. " This tone creates a sense of existential pondering that permeates the poem. Moreover, Dunbar's utilization of alternative interpretations adds depth to the poem's meaning. The poem can be read as a reflection on the limitations of human knowledge and the inherent mysteries of existence.
Spiegelman portrays humans of different races and religions as different animals. This metaphor is used throughout the novel for a number of different reasons; to show a hierarchy similar to the food chain of wild animals, to show haw the Jewish people were thought of as vermin to be eradicated and to express how humans were acting like uncivilised animals. In contrast to the rest of the book, humans in this scene are depicted as wearing animal masks; thus creating a whole new metaphor. This is because he feels guilty. He is 'hiding behind a mask' because he does not want to confront his past, nor does he want to let go of it.
’(-pg.13 chp.2). Hence, this relates back to the point that a mask may not be only to fool the audience, but the wearer also. With/in the case of Nicholas his mask of holiness deceived him into believing he had more of a ‘divining soul’(-pg.150 chp.13), thus narrowing his view as a mask would; ‘... I was the more restricted - the mask did not admit much light to my eyes and I could see nothing at all to the sides’(-pg.43 chp.5). Consequently the sub conscious decision to wear these masks, as they do not permit full understanding of oneself,