Literary Devices In The Poem We Wear The Mask

1007 Words 5 Pages
‘We wear the mask’ is a well-written poem about the blacks beliefs and attitudes during the Jim Crow Laws and the Harlem Renaissance. Through cleverly written lines with majestic tonality and word choice to create emotion, great stylistic choices and the socio-cultural contexts the poem conveys the intended message of highlighting the suffering that the black culture. Through these simple things, the poem engages their reader which conveys theirs and the societies values, attitudes and perspectives of the Jim Crow era.

Throughout ‘We wear the mask’ the reader is taken on an emotional rollercoaster that is just going down. From the first line, you have a sense what he will be explaining when he opens with ‘We wear the mask that grins
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The effects of well used poetic techniques in this poem create emotions like sympathy and downheartedness. In ‘We wear the mask ' we see stylistic choices like metaphors, imagery, alliteration, figurative language and the way it 's structured in the form, rondeau. These particular techniques are displayed throughout the poem as the title ‘We wear the mask’ is a metaphor for hiding true feelings and not staying true to yourself. It creates an image of what the poem is going to be about and sets the scene. Through using this metaphor, the reader is put into the position to feel sincere condolence towards the black culture and pity towards the mistreatment of the beliefs of the African American culture. This particular metaphor ‘We Wear the mask’ is repeated throughout the poem to really empathise his message and to leave the reader questioning their perspective. This creates an image of disguise and helps the poet reinforce his message of inferiority and acknowledging that it was a true problem. Dunbar uses the technique of figurative language when he states ‘In counting all our tears and sighs?’(Stanza 2, Line 2). This stylistic choice is very clever as it gets the reader to feel emotionally connected to the poem because of it’s non-literal meaning. This is an example of a hyperbole which means he is exaggerating to make a point to highlight the suffering of the black …show more content…
Although he isn 't talked about as much as the others he still very important and still well know in certain parts of America. He was born into the world where the black community had no values and wasn 't respected. Dunbar was a well educated black citizen with a degree from Howard University which means he was well aware and knowledgeable. Dunbar’s voice was through seen through his poetry as the context of all his poems were all about segregation and discrimination against African American attitudes as well as simple human rights. The issues raised in ‘We wear the mask’ is a written version of the attitude and socio-cultural beliefs at the time. Wearing a mask to shield themselves from further punishment for doing nothing which ended up being a major problem. During any period of time people who were slightly different were shunned or put back into place. In the Harlem Renaissance, the fact that they couldn 't change the blacks then lead to the whites killing, lashing and verbal abusing African Americans. ‘We wear the mask’ is one of Dunbar 's better-known pieces and it is easy to see why because the context and when it was written boarded people 's mind to a little peak of what the backs had to say about their

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