`` We Wear The Mask `` By Paul Laurence Dunbar Essay

801 Words 4 Pages
In Paul Laurence Dunbar 's poem “We Wear The Mask” we are exposed to the turbulent times and the atrocities given to the African American people from the hands of the whites. They had grown so accustomed to the mistreatment and conditions of their world they began to cover up their misfortunes with mask of happiness and satisfaction. This method of dealing with there slavery is the major theme we see throughout Dunbar’s poem. Dunbar’s poem expresses the hidden pain and suffering that African American slaves had to deal with. The African American slaves hid all of their pain and frustration from their white owners. In Dunbar’s poem the first illustration we get of how the people in the poem wear masks is. “We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,” (Dunbar pg. 764) here Dunbar is painting us a picture of how the slaves wore these masks to hide all their emotions whether grinning or lying. When you imagine someone wearing a mask there is a lot that is hidden from us that person could be snarling at us for all we now. Dunbar explains this in the line that says “hides our cheeks and shades our eyes” (Dunbar pg 764), here he is talking about that when someone is wearing a mask you are unable to tell what their facial emotions are meaning that one could possibly be smiling or even possibly crying. Life of a slave was a really hard one and these mask they wore were one of the only things protecting them. When we get to the second…

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