They may also sing to tell themselves that wearing a mask all the time may not be that bad. The poem deals directly with racism that African- Americans faced throughout that time. When they are being lynched and discriminated against, they are forced to take it and mask their true emotions with a smile. The poem by Dunbar is a representation… gain social, cultural and artistic freedom. To make their daily lives easier, they spoke and acted the ways that their white owners dictated. I agree that the poem is speaking about the hardships of African Americans during slavery, but I also feel that it is a bit more than that. 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.
Humans are intelligent creations and most of us can think outside of the box. GradeSaver, 10 September 2016 Web. Since slave times blacks have not been respected. Dunbar was extremely well learned; he spoke and wrote in Standard English, but just as often his poetry was written in black dialect. A person may appear one way on the outside but may be feeling the total opposite on the inside.
Yet in this one poem Dunbar left aside the falsity of dialect and the didacticism of his serious poems on black subjects and spoke from the heart. In particular, the poem essentially expresses the classification of African Americans in post-slavery America. Perhaps the people wearing the masks also have a responsibility to themselves and each other to be honest about their suffering. The first stanza holds up the myriad feelings that humans feel simultaneously. The deceit that every person plays on one another. There are a few exaples of literary tools being used in this poem.
And just like the first two lines, we notice that lines 3 and 4 are a perfectly rhymed couplet, once again in iambic tetrameter. But, giving in to their conditions, they accepted things as they were without qualms. Beneath our feet, and long the mile; Each day we move; whether we are going to work, school, or just walking through our living room. We do as we have been destined to do. Black poets, writers, musicians and scholars flocked to Harlem in search of these freedoms.
The tone used in the description is certainly sarcastic and melancholic. They were able to hide their true feelings and kept it all bottled inside because no body cared about them. They were left to their fate, unattended, left to suffer to the extreme, alone for centuries, with no one to cease the pain. Author Dunbar creates a somewhat cacophonic feel to the poem to portray the hurt of these people who must wear masks. Circumstances were difficult in America amongst the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th century.
Joyce Carol Oates is an author of many talents. I am the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve. However, the speaker knows they won't be anytime soon. This group of people was treated with such disrespect and humiliation that it is understandable why they would mask their true thoughts and their emotions. His poems relate back to the hardships he saw and knew.
So all the sarcasm that we hear is stressing the problem that exists on both sides: the world that ignores the problem and the people suffering who aren't being honest. The mask gives them a chance to alleviate that painful experience by choosing the view the mask as the reality and avoiding the truth that lies beneath. From reading the poem, one can infer that Mr. Of course there is no actual mask, but the mask can be a representation of a fake personality that is happy or blissful. Throughout this essay I will discuss, describe and interpret Sympathy and We Wear the Mask.
The mask wearer did not want the world to focus so much on what was really happening on the inside. Through one metaphor, the reader is left to feel desolate and anxious. I grew up in a Mexican majority small town, and being half mexican and caucasian with all the looks of a 100% white girl made my childhood very confusing. The extreme pain that they felt needed no special mention. African Americans, both men and women, were not allowed to be emotionally expressive of their mistrust within their own society. Dunbar himself being an African American sees the world from the point of view of the slaves… Towards the beginning of this semester we began reading a lot of interesting poems and short articles of such. The reason behind this is the human nature of deceiving others.