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Analysis and comments on We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Comment 23 of 263, added on March 7th, 2008 at 11:38 AM.

How fitting that Paul Lawrence Dunbar wrote about wearing a mask. He wore a
mask and he was a tortured soul. He raped his wife before marrying her and
they separated because he almost beat her to death and then left her for
dead. He was a wife beater, alcoholic, a rapist and possibly bi-polar. He
may have died of tuberculosis but I am sure his soul was tortured because
of his unchristian like behavior.

Rochelle from United States
Comment 22 of 263, added on February 26th, 2008 at 9:03 PM.

this poem was so totally awsome!!
touches my heart

gabby from United States
Comment 21 of 263, added on May 9th, 2007 at 9:06 AM.

i am doing a report on Paul Laurence Dunbar and this is by far one of the
best poems of his. because we do wear the mask and hide our deepest
feelings and we dont really show our potential.

Datravius Capers from United States
Comment 20 of 263, added on May 8th, 2007 at 9:04 AM.

The Greatest poem that i ever read

Leroy Broner from United States
Comment 19 of 263, added on May 7th, 2007 at 2:05 PM.

I read this poem because a High School student, raising money for research
into uveitis, used the poem to describe the lives of uveitis sufferers.
Good poetry moves us and makes us think. Our thoughts may not be those the
poet was thinking, our times may be far removed from the days the poet was
alive, but good poetry contains a universiality in its subject that is
understood across generations and cultures.
I have uveitis which is blinding me. The poem made me cry because I don't
wear a mask: all can see my pain. It humbled me because I lack the courage
to hide my fear, my anger, my desperation. Great writers speak of the human
condition and Dunbar has chosen one of our better traits: our ability to
retain dignity when the cards are stacked against us. He also does that
remarkable thing great writers do with ease - create empathy. I like to
imagine him as a poet who changed the lives of others for the better.

Samphire from United Kingdom
Comment 18 of 263, added on February 26th, 2007 at 9:46 PM.

I understand that this poem had some African-American meanings behind it,
but does anyone else think it could have another meaning...?... He
expresses how "we" are hiding things inside, how "we" are hiding our true
feelings, and how "we" are putting on a facade so the "world thinks
otherwise"
Could Paul Lawrence Dunbar had been a Christian, talking about the masks
that "we" wear because of whatever reasons???


Comment 17 of 263, added on May 11th, 2006 at 10:00 PM.

I think this poem is not only a good representation of the struggle african
americans went through, but more specifically; I believe the mask he is
talking about was imposed on them. this poem was written post-civil war
when black and white men were trying to co-exist. White men humored
themselves with Minstrel shows and blackface acting. Even black men would
paint over thier already dark skin and over-exaggerate thier mouth with
huge white lips painted on. when he speaks of the tortures souls arising i
think he means his fore-fathers who went through the pain of slavery.

Hannah from United States
Comment 16 of 263, added on May 10th, 2006 at 7:46 AM.

the first time i read this poem was in a theater class for a project and
what it meant to me is that sometimes children and other people hide their
true selvs from everyone else like the children that are abused or the
children that dont have parents that care about them but when i looked this
up on here i found that it was relly about african americans and the
struggle that they have went through and i read it again and it does all
come into place now this is a great poem keep up the good work

brandi from United States
Comment 15 of 263, added on April 27th, 2006 at 11:30 AM.

This poem is one of my favorites. It so boldly interprets the struggle of
prejudice and hardships endured by African americans then and now. The sad
thing is it is still resonant of today, but I think it could be used as a
great learning tool for teaching the past and how we could possibly change
the future.

Netta from United States
Comment 14 of 263, added on April 19th, 2006 at 10:11 AM.

Depicts overall struggle of African Americans throughout hisstory

Damon from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about We Wear the Mask

Poet: Paul Laurence Dunbar
Poem: We Wear the Mask
Added: Mar 17 2005
Viewed: 533 times


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