We Wear the Mask Questions and Answers

We Wear the Mask

The mask symbolizes the false fronts that some people feel they must wear in order to be accepted by society. It is certainly possible that Dunbar could be referring to the mask that black people...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2019 8:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

“We Wear the Mask” is a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. In this poem, the poet does indeed use a variety of figures of speech. Let me highlight some examples of this for you. The first figure...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2020 10:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

As was mentioned in the previous post, the mask symbolizes false appearances that cleverly hide inner turmoil. Throughout the poem, Dunbar describes how persecuted African Americans smile and grin...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2017 9:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

The short answer is that paying our debt to human guile means that we "pay" for the "service" of hiding our true selves, which the mask provides. And who is it that we owe something to? Well, it's...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016 6:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

The speaker of Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem "We Wear the Mask" is referring to the oppressed, disenfranchised African Americans by using the first person plural pronoun "we." Dunbar illustrates the...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2018 10:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

As an African American poet living and writing at the end of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the life of the poet himself intersects with the voice of the narrators in these...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2020 6:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

This is a great question that really could open up to a number of interpretations. "The mask" mentioned in the poem is a facade Dunbar says is "worn" by African Americans in society. This "mask"...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2019 5:57 pm UTC

3 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

Dunbar's poem is especially relevant today as new ways to "wear the mask" keep appearing. In carefully framed selfies, or in funny Facebook posts, or in well-executed snaps and tweets, we wear the...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016 6:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

There are lots of metaphors in the poem. The eponymous mask is of course a metaphor for the facade that the poet feels he and other African Americans must adopt. The speaker also refers to the...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2019 3:02 pm UTC

4 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

First, it's important to understand who the "We" are that Dunbar refers to in the poem. "We" refers to African-Americans specifically, but could apply to anyone or any group...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

In Richard Wright's auto-biographical novel, Black Boy, Wright recounts a time that he worked a job outside places of business as a young man. When white people came by, Richard would look at...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2012 12:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In this poem, Dunbar is talking about why (in his opinion) black people acted the way they did -- why they did not show their displeasure and unhappiness when they were being oppressed. I think...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2010 11:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In "We Wear the Mask," Paul Laurence Dunbar writes about how African American people must hide behind a mask that society expects them to wear. They grin and smile. They hide their "tears and...

Latest answer posted June 24, 2021 3:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

This poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar is about the "mask" which black people in the United States were forced at that time to wear in order to be accepted by the rest of the world—specifically, the...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2019 10:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In the second stanza of "We Wear the Mask," Dunbar contrasts how the world sees black people with the reality of their condition. Though black people shed tears and sigh—presumably because of...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2020 5:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

Paul Lawrence Dunbar was an African American poet writing in the 19th and 20th centuries. In "We Wear the Mask," Dunbar writes about the black American experience of hiding true pain and suffering...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2018 3:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

"We Wear the Mask" is a poem which describes the experience of an African American in a racist, late nineteenth century America. The poem was first published in 1896, after slavery had been...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2019 6:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

The speaker in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “We Wear the Mask" asserts that “we”—a collective self—must behave in certain ways in order to gain what we desire, as well as merely to survive. The...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2020 1:40 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

Irony is when something unexpected, often the opposite of what is expected, happens. In the poem “We Wear the Mask,” Paul Laurence Dunbar is using irony to express the idea that African-Americans...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2012 2:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

At first glance, there are few similarities between these works. One is a novel, written by a British author, while the other is a poem, written by an African American author. The styles used by...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

While Paul Laurence Dunbar's moving lyric poem reflects the conditions of Jim Crow (1877-1950s) under which Dunbar and others of his race were forced to live, its message is by no means outdated....

Latest answer posted October 18, 2017 8:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

The central image of the poem is the mask itself. Dunbar describes, "We wear the mask that grins and lies," hinting that the mask appears joyful to hide something sad or angry underneath. It...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2015 2:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In the poem "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the collective "we" can refer to all humanity, but it mainly refers to African Americans just after the Civil War. In the poet's view, "the...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2021 6:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

“We Wear the Mask” by Paul L. Dunbar was published in 1896. His parents were both slaves. His father escaped and served in the Union army during the Civil War. His family reunited after the war....

Latest answer posted January 11, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

The last stanza seems to suggest that the speakers are slaves; however, the lines can also be applicable African-Americans of Dunbar's time, during the Jim Crow era. It is true that slaves were...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In this poem, Paul Laurence Dunbar is writing specifically about the plight of Black people living in a primarily white-run society. He describes how Black people often choose to wear a mask which...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2021 11:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

A translation of this poem (with rhythm and rhyme sacrificed for clarity of meaning) might read as follows: We wear the mask that grins and lies,It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—This is...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2019 7:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In his poem “We Wear the Mask,” Paul Laurence Dunbar uses the conceit or extended of a mask to represent the outward impressions that oppressed people convey in a hostile society. The speaker...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2021 8:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

"We Wear the Mask," first published in 1896, describes the experience of a black American in a racist, predominantly white society. The speaker and others of his race are compelled to project...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2019 10:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In this poem, the speaker expresses his feeling that he—and others like him—wear a kind of mask. He feels that this figurative mask serves to hide their cheeks and eyes and leaves only their smile...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020 12:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

The previous answer was quite lucid. I would suggest that the primary level of comparison would be that both poems attempt to articulate the African- American predicament. They both speak, quite...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2009 8:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

In the poem "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the speaker uses the image of wearing a mask to speak to the struggles of African Americans forced to navigate a racist American society. The...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2019 3:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In this 1896 poem, black writer Paul Laurence Dunbar refers to the mask that African American wear in order to get along with white citizens. This is not a real mask. The mask is a metaphor for the...

Latest answer posted September 3, 2019 5:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

Paul Dunbar is commenting, as so many authors have done, on the ability of humans to portray a face that is false. The title "We Wear the Mask" refers to the public mask that we put on,...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2008 10:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In Paul Laurence Dunbar's celebrated poem "We Wear the Mask," Dunbar examines and depicts the plight of oppressed African Americans in the post–Civil War United States, struggling to conceal their...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2019 3:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In his autobiographical novel, Black Boy, Richard Wright works at a department store in the town he lives. When white people walk in front of the store where Richard and another young man work,...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2013 6:55 am UTC

3 educator answers

We Wear the Mask

As the son of former slaves, Dunbar learned from his mother and father Matilda and Joshua, who had clandestinely taught himself to read and write, some of the obstables that faced him. However, as...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2011 2:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

This poem conveys the idea that African Americans wear a figurative mask to hide their true feelings, sorrows, and identities from white Americans to survive and, perhaps, to keep something of...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2020 11:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

In "We Wear the Mask," the speaker explains how the mask "hides our cheeks and shades our eyes." Thus, the two things that the mask hides are the people's faces and their true emotions—the eyes may...

Latest answer posted September 9, 2021 5:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

You picked the right author to explore. Dunbar's work really explores what it means to endure the hardships of being of color, and in specific terms, what it means to be African- American in...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2010 8:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

We Wear the Mask

I certainly think that there is much of Dunbar's poem that applies to the 21st Century. Certainly, he was articulating a position that spoke of how race and ethnicity play a formative role in...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010 7:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer