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Word Count: 1,250
We wear the mask by paul dunbar In this paper we will examine how human faces are equated with wearing a mask and lies are a necessary part of everyday life Throughout the poem Dunbar defends why he feels there is a need to hide the true self This can be a coping mechanism because historically slaves had to hide their true feelings from their white masters The masks Dunbar writes about hides and separates the viewer from the viewed just like a performers mask on stage is different from real life An actor wears different personalities as part of their job just like wearing a mask In this context Dunbar shows that wearing the mask as much of a job as well as necessity that he dislikes doing it but he has no choice This can be seen when Dunbar writes But let the world dream other wise We wear the mask 15-16 Dunbar could also be writing about himself he pretends to be what he wasnt in order to gain acceptance by his peers As the son of ex-slaves Dunbar could have suffered discrimination and rejectio n from his peers unless he pretended or put on a certain attitude The line but let the world dream other wise can be that if the outside people believe the image that the mask projects 15 I would say that Dunbars view of lying and wearing a good face still applies today because we all say How are you We greet people by asking how they are doing when we expect to hear Im fine thank you or something to that extent We dont really want to know how bad life is because if someone didnt conform and answer as we expected wed say he or she is weird In other words this still applies in present day society where wed much rather hear a lie than the naked truth This debt we pay
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