We wear the mask analysis line by line. We Wear the Mask 2022-10-09
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"We Wear the Mask" is a powerful poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar in the late 19th century. The poem speaks to the experience of African Americans at the time, who were forced to hide their true feelings and emotions behind a mask in order to survive in a racist society.
The poem begins with the line "We wear the mask that grins and lies," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The speaker is telling us that they have to put on a false smile and pretend everything is okay, even when it is not. The use of the word "mask" suggests that there is something being hidden, and the phrase "grins and lies" suggests that this mask is not just a physical object, but also a way of behaving and communicating that is not genuine.
The second line of the poem, "It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes," expands on this idea by describing how the mask covers up the speaker's true emotions. The phrase "hides our cheeks" could refer to hiding tears or sadness, while "shades our eyes" could refer to hiding the pain or anger that might be present in the speaker's gaze. This line also suggests that the mask is not just a superficial cover, but something that affects the speaker's entire being, covering up their face and their eyes, which are often seen as the windows to the soul.
The third line, "This debt we pay to human guile," reveals the reason why the speaker must wear the mask. They are in debt to "human guile," or the deceit and cunning of others. This could refer to the way that African Americans were treated by white people, who often used their power and privilege to manipulate and exploit them. The speaker is saying that they are forced to wear the mask in order to survive in a society that is hostile and unfair to them.
The fourth line, "With torn and bleeding hearts we smile," is perhaps the most poignant line in the poem. It shows the emotional toll that wearing the mask takes on the speaker. Despite their pain and suffering, they are still forced to smile and pretend everything is okay. The phrase "torn and bleeding hearts" suggests that the speaker's heart is literally torn and bleeding from the effort of pretending to be something they are not.
The final line of the poem, "And mouth with myriad subtleties," is a bit more enigmatic. It could be interpreted as saying that the mask allows the speaker to be more subtle and nuanced in their communication, as they are able to hide their true feelings and intentions. Alternatively, it could be seen as a criticism of the mask, as it allows the speaker to be manipulative and deceive others.
Overall, "We Wear the Mask" is a poignant and powerful poem that speaks to the experience of African Americans at the time, and to the struggles of any group that is forced to hide their true selves in order to survive in a hostile society. It is a reminder of the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and the lengths we will go to in order to protect ourselves and those we love.
Free Essay: Analysis of "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
There is also alliteration in the last stanza. They are all different lengths with the first stanza having five lines, the second having four lines, and the last stanza having six lines. What Is The Meaning Of The Poem We Wear The Mask? The veil shuts the Negro out from the White world. This poem highlights the suffering of Blacks who have much to complain about regarding their social plight but who cannot complain without making their own lives worse. His literary talent emerged in high school, but because of his race, he found himself unable to find employment equivalent to his ability.
A person may appear one way on the outside but may be feeling the total opposite on the inside. They just have to tuck it away inside and put on a brave face. Historical Context of "We Wear the Mask" "We Wear the Mask" is a commentary on life for Black individuals in the Nineteenth Century. Both We Wear The Mask Dunbar Analysis always with the truth. Whether a slave expresses some emotion other than cooperation, he or she will be beaten.
The Analysis of We Wear the Mask By Paul Laurence Dunbar — childhealthpolicy.vumc.org
Poet and writer, Paul was born in Dayton, Ohio, to Joshua Dunbar and Matilda Murphy. Dunbar becomes a little sarcastic in the second stanza. The speaker clarifies the significance of the mask at the beginning of the poem, describing that this metaphorical cover is a device utilized for deceiving others. As a result of their fear of being disciplined, slaves and African Americans wear masks on their faces. The Shaman either has a dream and carve what they dreamt about or tell a carver to carve it.
Analysis Of A Poem “We Wear The Mask” Essay Speech Example
The poem starts with Dunbar speaking for the entire black community. To put on the 'mask', was to unsure themselves that they can get through this was a survival tactic. It explores the racial discrimination of African- Americans in the olden days and during the slave trade period. In all, the black race especially the African-Americans suffered a great deal during the slavery period. To let the mask become your reality. By showing others what they want to see, he's able to manipulate them. When they are being lynched and discriminated against, they are forced to take it and mask their true emotions with a smile.
He was the eldest of two children born to Joshua and Matilda, who were former slaves, and had two half-brothers through his mother. Looking at the picture of the girl holding the mask, seems similar to the emotions expressed throughout the poem. Repition is used in "We Wear the Mask". The Background "We Wear the Mask" is a poem written by the African-American poet namely, Paul Laurence Dunbar. He uses a rhetorical question in the sixth line in order to create an ironic tone, suggesting that he shouldn't have to do it, but there are few other options. The final stanza is a plea to God, or in other words an apostrophe. In the last stanza, Dunbar says that even though they seem to be smiling on the outside, Jesus Christ knows the truth.
By doing so, subconsciously, the criminal knows he will be caught and in turn, executed. The first and second, and also the third and fourth of each line use the long I sound for end rhyme except for the last lines of each stanza. This tells the reader to keep the title in mind while reading the poem. In " Lines 10 and 11 of the poem, however, present a stark, almost heartrending, contrast between between appearance and reality. Second Stanza The second stanza implies that the outer world has no right to know what a person is truly feeling. The people cry out to God from their hurting, tormented souls, from the very depths of their being.
Immigrants arriving from around the globe combined with African Americans to challenge the American identity. The persona of Dunbar is conveyed to the reader in first-person, which has a strong contributed to the message of the poem along with the rhythm and word choice. The journey of slavery and discrimination of the black people is a topic that is close to my heart and to many people who feel for the suffering and undeserved bias that is placed against those that are deemed different in any way. Born and raised in Ohio, Dunbar was affected by these trends. Dunbar is more discreet in implying that African-Americans should not let the mask hinder them from expressing their true desire of liberty from racism. From his childhood to adulthood, Dunbar directly saw how white men treated and persecuted black men in every aspect, including working, civil rights, et cetera.
Slaves will sing songs to pass the time and boost morale when working in the fields. Beneath our feet, and long the mile;But let the world dream otherwise, lines 13-14 In those two lines, the long "e" sound is used in the words "beneath", "feet", and "dream". Dunbar was born in 1872 to parents who had been enslaved in Kentucky. What evokes such a tone could possibly be the mood. Structure of We Wear the Mask The poem is a variation of a rondeau. They are also different in the fact that they are the only lines to contain only four syllables.
It also discusses major problems that were silenced during the 19th century after the civil war spreading awareness. The title is repeated in all three stanzas. The mask was used to cover up the painful truth with a happy, positive We Wear The Mask Essay In the twentieth century, the United States of America has transitioned into a more diverse nation. The last stanza is an appeal to God, a cry of distress rather. In the third stanza, Dunbar tells of how they try crying to Christ for help. As a result, these individuals viably have two personalities: a genuine self, covered up behind the cover, and the self they display to get by in a partial society.