p - Lailani Bartlett Mcdermott Ap Lit P.2 Poetry Response We Wear the Mask Paul Laurence Dunbar Paul Laurence Dunbar alludes to the masks one wears as a

p - Lailani Bartlett Mcdermott Ap Lit P.2 Poetry Response...

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Lailani Bartlett Mcdermott Ap Lit. P.2 November 15, 2019 Poetry Response We Wear the Mask Paul Laurence Dunbar Paul Laurence Dunbar alludes to the masks one wears as a symbol for society's tendency to please one another in their poem, We Wear the Mask. Dunbar introduces the poem immediately with the statement of the mask, saying “We wear the mask that grins and lies, / It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,-- / This debt we pay to human guile.” (Dunbar, 1-3). Dunbar tells the audience how society wears a facade that fakes happiness and hides one’s true emotions. They introduce this statement to notify the audience of their interpretation of societal norms. They tell them that to pay off one’s inner conflicts one feels the need to please society to uphold this sort of perfection. Repeatedly, society feels this need to strive for a concept of perfection to
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Unformatted text preview: 'fit in' or be 'normal' in society. It is an underlying law that some never really fully address and it affects society as a whole. Dunbar also uses this reoccuring theme later in the poem when they write, "Nay, Let them only see us, while / We wear the mask." (Dunbar, 8-9). In this, Dunbar establishes that one can never see another at a state of unhappiness, they must always see them as the embodiment of perfection. This statement acknowledges the precedent that one sets telling society that they are happy and must please others for the benefit of others, never for one's self. Again, it instills this mindset into one's mind that one cannot share their raw, human emotions. It signals this miscommunication between each person in society. It shows the standards that humans are held to almost subconsciously everyday....
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