What is the central theme of the text, We Wear the Mask?

What is the central theme of the text, We Wear the Mask?

The principal themes of "We Wear the Mask" include racial inequity, the cost of deception, humanity's fallen nature, and the inner vs outside worlds. Racial inequality: Dunbar's investigation of the plight of black Americans, notably their hiding of their pain, is reflected in the poem. The white society believes that blacks are content with their lives so there is no need to intervene on their behalf. However, as Dunbar shows us, this is not true at all for many blacks who suffer daily injustices even though they never reveal this fact to anyone. The cost of deception: Humans must conceal their true feelings and emotions if they want to survive. Deception is therefore an essential part of human life. Humanity's fallen nature: Humans were created by God in His image, but since the fall this image has been distorted by humans' desire to sin and be like God (see Genesis 6:5). Because of this, humanity needs a savior who would defeat death and hell for us.

The mask we wear is a visual representation of what's inside us. When someone smiles, it isn't always because they're happy inside. They may be putting on a show for others or they may be scared of what others will think of them if they show how they feel. The mask we wear is there to protect our identity and keep us safe from harm. Without our masks, we would be unable to function normally in society.

Why do we wear the mask?

"We Wear the Mask," like most of Dunbar's writing, is a reaction to the experience of being black in America in the late nineteenth century, following the Civil War—a era when life appeared to have improved for black Americans but was nonetheless defined by strong bigotry and poverty. The essay's first section explores why it is that black people must hide their true identities: because to be honest about one's race would be fatal to any hope of achieving social acceptance or personal happiness.

The second section examines how black people have always concealed their identity: with "grimness and heroism" through slavery and segregation. And the third section discusses the modern-day equivalents of "grimness" and "heroism": racism and black pride. Finally, the fourth section calls for justice to be done even though humanity has never fully accepted its own racial makeup.

Although written over a hundred years ago, this essay remains relevant today because blacks are still expected to hide their true feelings and aspirations. Most blacks will never achieve power within the white mainstream society, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it. And many remain burdened by the past sins of their families, societies, and countries.

But unlike Dunbar, who ended his days in poverty, there are many blacks today who have found freedom from discrimination and oppression.

Who is the speaker of We Wear the Mask?

By employing the first person plural pronoun "we," the speaker of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem "We Wear the Mask" refers to downtrodden, disenfranchised African Americans. Dunbar exemplifies how many African Americans living in racist settings actively smile and keep a nice demeanor...

The last line of the poem states that we wear the mask for one reason: "so's others won't laugh at us." This implies that we wear the mask because we know no other way to live.

In addition to being an anthem for African Americans suffering from oppression, "We Wear the Mask" also serves as a plea for solidarity among people who share a common goal. The poem begins with the speaker asking listeners to imagine what it would be like if everyone wore a mask: "If each one hid his true feelings, then there'd be no need for violence or hatred toward anyone." By urging readers/listeners to look beyond their own personal struggles, the poet is trying to get them to see the world through new eyes. He wants them to understand that they are all connected even though some people may seem like they have nothing in common with others.

Finally, the poet asks readers/listeners to take off their own masks so they can see who really lives inside people's heads. Only then will they be able to help those who need it most.

What does the mask symbolize in We Wear the Mask?

"We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar presents the world as deceptive. It depicts civilization as one that frequently hides behind objects to prevent reality from shining through. It shows how individuals try to hide their emotions and discloses what is really going on inside of them.

In this poem, Paul Laurence Dunbar is saying that we wear masks for various reasons. Some people wear masks to protect their feelings while others use it to express themselves freely. Finally, some people wear masks because they are unable to feel anything at all.

Throughout the poem, Dunbar uses symbolism to explain why we wear masks. He starts off by mentioning that everyone wears a mask for society's sake. This means that we all participate in creating false images for others. However, some people go beyond simply playing their part; they wear their mask with pride. This indicates that they accept the role that society has given them and know what they are supposed to be doing at any given moment.

Finally, some people wear masks because they cannot feel anything else. This shows that they have lost touch with their own feelings and need help opening up.

In conclusion, we wear masks for society's benefit and because we can't feel anything else.

About Article Author

David Suniga

David Suniga is a writer. His favorite things to write about are people, places and things. He loves to explore new topics and find inspiration from all over the world. David has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian and many other prestigious publications.

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