The Mask- Randhawa

Manveer Randhawa

Ms. Nelson

English Period 3

The Mask…

In the poem “We Wear The Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the poet uses personification, rhythm and metaphors to create the theme that what is on the outside isn’t the same inside.

First of all, the author uses rhythm to start the poem and made a hook for  the reader. For example, in this quote, the author shows “We wear the mask that grins and lies/ it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.” From this quote, we can see it says that the mask we wear makes a face but hides what is under. And as you read the poem, you get hooked with the rhythm to read the rest. With this, it shows the message that you hide yourself outside, but the truth is inside. As you can see, this is completely hooking you with the rhythm to get the theme.

            To begin, one example of personification occurs in stanza two: “Why should the world be over wise, in counting all our tears and sighs?” In this quote, the poet says why should others care and give special care to us?  The poet uses personification to say  the world can’t count tears. So, the main message of the quote is to: do what you need to do alone; no one else needs to help you. Overall this supports the theme by using personification.

            Initially, the author uses metaphors to illustrate the theme by comparing. “We smile, but, O Christ our cries, to thee from tortured souls arise.” In this it is said  we are fine outside the mask, but inside, only we know what is there. And the poet compares souls to the inside.

            As a conclusion we can see that the theme of this poem is, Whatever is on the outside isn’t on the inside.


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