Analysis Of We Wear The Mask By Paul Laurence Dunbar

1000 Words 4 Pages
Argumentative Essay

Paul Laurence Dunbar’s famous poem, We Wear the Mask, is a sentimental and symbolic poem that refers to the times individuals hide behind masks for various reasons. However, many critics think that this poem only applies to individuals who suffered from slavery. Because many of Dunbar’s poems do reflect images of slavery, some critics argue that “we” in the poem “We Wear the Mask” is referring to slaves. The poet is including himself as a part of the human race rather than speaking from personal experience. Again, critics will argue that the speaker is including himself within his race of people who endured slavery. For instance, line ten and eleven in the poem reads, “We smile, but O great Christ, our cries to thee
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For instance, line four in the poem reads, “With torn and bleeding hearts we smile.” This line really captured my attention because it made me think back to a time when I was a bullied in ninth grade by a group of girls who harassed me every day by threatening me and calling me names. It was very difficult for me to during this time because I had grown up with these girls since Pre-K and even had classes with each of them. Just like the poem mentions, I had worn a mask of happiness myself, when really I was completely torn apart on the inside. At this time in my life, I was unable to understand how that particular group of girls got the pleasure of knocking someone else down emotionally and physically. Did they even know how it felt being the victim? Instead of fighting back and getting violent with these girls, I told my counselor exactly what was going on immediately and just reminded myself to smile and pray for them each and every day. As the school year continued, I got involved with school clubs to take my mind off of that situation. Later that year those same girls had come to me and apologized and wanted to be my friend again. God truly worked in mysterious and magnificent ways that year! This poem has a very deep meaning and can be used by any individual as a spiritual encouragement or reference while he or she is undergoing a certain situation in his or her

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