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

781 Words Oct 23rd, 2014 4 Pages
Underneath a Hidden Mask The poem “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, for the most part it is written as a strict iambic tetrameter with a repetitive rhyme pattern. Dunbar interrupts this regular rhythm in the last lines of the second and third stanzas to deliver the statement, “We wear the mask.” This is made during 1872-1906, when segregation against the African Americans was found in the U.S. Dunbar himself being an African American sees the world from the point of view of the slaves. He tells of the things he had to do in order to survive in this grave time of history. During this time of segregation African Americans had little to no rights. This meant they weren’t allowed to speak their thought or ideas aloud. This also can lead to not showing emotions. The way people treated slaves in the day, were worse than the average American can imagine. They were whipped repetitively if they even made one mistake, or speaking up to their ‘master’. For this reason all African Americans must wear a smile on their faces, despite the agony and suffering they’re going through. This leads Dunbar to the last line of the second and third stanza “We wear the mask”. This poem shows him trying to grab the attention of others asking for help but by the third stanza he realizes his cries go unheard.
During this poem there are a couple of themes to find inside the text. Lies and Deceit, shows itself in the representation of the “mask” and the “smile”. Suffering also plays a big…

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