Analysis Of The Poem ' We Wear The Mask ' By Paul Laurence Dunbar

787 Words Feb 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
In the poem “ We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, we are introduced to a series of symbolism, enjambment, connotation, and alliteration, all of these elements working together to emphasize the true meaning behind the words. The poem is considered to be in Rondeau form and also follows in iambic tetrameter with stressed and then unstressed syllables occurring four times in each line. Dunbar combines all of these elements of poetry, to stress the idea that humans hide their true feelings behind masks of happiness, when in all actuality, guile only makes the world a harder place to live.
Dunbar wastes no time in the making of this poem, the message behind his words is brought to the front in the very first two lines. “We wear the mask thats grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes”, these words suggest that we humans hide behind a facade of fake smiles and false happiness to spare others the feelings that we are actually experiencing. Dunbar uses figurative language in the second line to insinuate that the “mask” not only stops others from seeing us, by “shading our eyes” it also keeps us from seeing ourselves correctly as well. The next three lines point out that this “human guile” comes at a price, this idea is supported by the fact that Dunbar uses the word “debt” as opposed to other available choices. The fourth line brings into perspective what might be hiding behind this “mask.” The use of the word “ torn” brings to mind the idea of two things on…

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