Saturday, March 2, 2019
Analysis of a Poem Ã¢â¬ÅWe wear the maskÃ¢â¬Â
Amber Davis Professor curiosity Literature 101 February 28, 2013 We Wear the Mask The lyric rime We presume the mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a meter about the Afri provide American race, and how they had to conceal their unhappiness and anger from whites. This poem was written in 1895, which is around the era when great(p) workerry was abolished. Dunbar, living in this time period, was suitable to experience the gruesome effects of racism, hatred and prejudice against blacks at its worst.Using literary techniques such as alliteration, metaphor, someonea, cacophony, apostrophe and enigma, Paul Dunbars poem suggests blacks of his time wore masks of joyful faces to hide their true feelings. In the first stanza, he starts off with the designation of the poem stating, we dig the mask that grins and lies (1). In the first line he designs a metaphor to explain the mask that is put on to convey grins. Of course there is no actual mask, further the mask can be a re gravelati on of a fake personality that is gifted or blissful.It could be said that the reason for this mask is to prevent their tormentors from commencement any controversy. Dunbar as well as uses another metaphor, This debt we pay to human workmanship (3). apparently he does not mean that there is a debt to human guile that he is paying with money, but rather since blacks get down always been seen as deceptive since slave times, they must forever live in it. Since slave times blacks have not been respected. Even after blacks received the proficient to vote and own land, the federal system still made it hard for blacks to make a break by.The use of metaphor is used to describe the kindle struggles blacks had to go through in a white mans world. by means of the use of metaphors, Dunbar implies the feelings the blacks once had to fake in order to not get into any trouble. The second stanza, especially, emphasizes the poems paradox and alliteration. This stanza really goes into the mi nd of the person speaking, and the outcome is a part of the reason wherefore they violate masks. The poem reads, Why should the world be over-wise,/ In counting all our tears and sighs? / Nay, let them only see s, bandage/ We wear our masks (6-9). Essentially, the person of this poem is asking wherefore should the world get the right to know wherefore they are truly upset, and potentially use it against them instead, have pride, hold your brain up high, and put on your mask. In doing so, the literary term paradox comes into play. This poem is about the true feelings of blacks being hidden behind masks, when in addition the poem itself hides the fundamental issue of racism from even being mentioned that altogether is a paradox because the poem has a mask on as well.This poem can also be seen as a paradox because this so called we is supposed to be wearing a mask when in fact they are expressing their feelings and becoming vulnerable, aka no more mask. Although each stanz a has a bit of alliteration, the second stanza is the most dominant. Dunbar writes, Why should the world be over-wise,/ In counting all our tears and sighs? / Nay, let them only see us, while/ We wear our masks (6-9). The alliteration in this stanza is used heavily with the letter w. With the use of this alliteration, it creates a sense of flow that helps the speaker system get his point crossways more smoothly. Although the poem is more gruff, and harsh, rather than euphonic, and harmonious, the use of alliteration helps bring out the importance of this stanzas sayings. The alliteration aspect of this stanza really helps reveal why the blacks continue to keep a mask up since they do not want others to know their weakness. The final stanza is a plea to God, or in other words an apostrophe.Dunbar writes, We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries/ To thee from hurt souls arise (10-11). In writing this, Dunbar makes an apostrophe to the absent Christ since Christ is not currently p resent in the poem. This verse brings about an emotional side of the speaker that we have not seen in the play, which is the essential effect of apostrophe. In a sense, the speaker is able to take the focus from masks to addressing the fact that they are being tortured the fact that they are being tortured is exactly why they wear the masks they do, to show they are not intimidated.Through the use of apostrophe, Dunbar is able to express the emotions of the reader, which ties into why masks need to be warn. Overall, the speakers awareness of putting on a fake facade to avoid trouble is apparent through literary devices such as alliteration, metaphors, and apostrophe. Author Dunbar creates a somewhat cacophonic feel to the poem to portray the hurt of these people who must wear masks. Dunbar also uses end rhyme in all of his ersus. 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. Through the u se of many literary devices Dunbar is able to capture the true signification behind the mask, which is a disguise that camouflages the actual emotions of the mask wearer. Even though the mask is a grinning mask, the face under it is broken and frustrated, but the mask wearer will never show it.