Essay Example on 1895 poem We Wear the Mask Dunbar









One’s life in reality differs greatly from the one that they portray publicly From the point the poem opens the writer points out that people wear masks to hide their feelings and that these masks are just a phony way of covering up truths within people that are painful opening admit These masks do not really help though In his 1895 poem We Wear the Mask Dunbar uses the image of a mask to illustrate what we show to the world from the outside compared to what our lives really are This paper is to analyze the extent to which people believe that masks are the answers to the problems in relation to the poem we wear the mask Currently we live in a world that is full of shows advertisements and magazines filled with perfection it is no wonder that people have begun to only show their good sides as well The poet claims in a part of the poem that since the we also have the masks on we cannot also see clearly just like others cannot see us this according to line 2 The poet says that black people s struggle cannot be seen because they are hiding behind the masks this is a daily life occurrence Their hearts are torn and bleeding but all that can be seen is the facade that they put on Nay let them only see us while We wear the mask Dunbar 1895 lines 8 9 We only show people what we want them to see we are wearing a mask to hide our flaws and imperfections 

Unfortunately this pressure to be perfect may mean that live their lives only ever showing the mask they put on I worry that by doing this we are missing out on the true beauty of a human Dunbar s image of a mask could relate to today as people hide their lives behind social media posts careful not to show what happens behind the scenes Currently we live in a world where bullying is part and parcel of young people's daily lives it is no surprise that people hide their true selves because of the fear to being judged Why should the world be overwise In counting all our tears and sighs Dunbar 1895 lines 6 7 In the line is saying why should people allow the world to judge our less than perfect lives This is a true indication of the point that which is commonly an often used in today's world in as people only share what they feel is what will be accepted According to the poem this appears to be in order for one to avoid judgment and ridicule This was the image that the black people present in the time when slavery was rife It is easier to avoid the criticism of the world if you don't allow the world to see your flaws It was therefore difficult for the world to see the injustices that black people were going through Dunbar also uses his poem to illustrate how wearing this mask can affect us internally We smile but oh great Christ our cries To Thee from tortured souls arise Dunbar 1895 lines 9 10 Outward people may appear the way they want to appear 

Some are successful in their efforts to deceive the world However inside they may be in conflict The burden to always keep up appearances can be heavy Unable to take off the mask they wear for the outside world they are left suffering and crying out to God Sometimes life presents people with situations when creating a mask for ourselves is necessary In healthcare one cannot always let their true emotions show depending on the circumstances There is the need to wear a mask and not let and not my reactions show With torn and bleeding hearts we smile Dunbar 1895 line 4 is a feeling this believed think most healthcare workers could relate to One must appear confident as was they are caring for the injured and or sick If one was to seem panicked scared or stressed that feeling could be picked up by patients There are times when the world needs people to hide certain things It is also important to realize that these masks people wear for certain circumstances must at some point be removed Dunbar s poem was written in 1895 however it is still relevant today It is relatable for many as we all have had to put on our own masks from time to time in our lives Dunbar brings to light that this could become a dangerous habit This can leave us always hiding behind the life and or person we want the world to believe we have and or are Although it is believed that a mask may sometimes be necessary it should not be a permanent thing By never taking off the mask we wear it can turn into a burden that proves too heavy for most to carry The important thing to remember is not to put so much focus on what you think the world wants to see that you suffer through life instead of living it References Dunbar P L 1895 We wear the mask In X J Kennedy and D Gioia Eds The Literature Collection An E Text VitalSource digital version p 574 Boston MA Pearson Education Inc

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