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“We Wear the Mask” & “Sympathy”. Paul Laurence Dunbar. “We Wear the Mask” group questions. Explain the metaphor in the poem? What is it a metaphor for? What consistency do you notice in the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the poem? Do you believe this is done on purpose? Why or why not?

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Paul Laurence Dunbar


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    1. “We Wear the Mask” & “Sympathy” Paul Laurence Dunbar

    2. “We Wear the Mask” group questions • Explain the metaphor in the poem? What is it a metaphor for? • What consistency do you notice in the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the poem? Do you believe this is done on purpose? Why or why not? • In the last line of stanza 1 the word “mouth” is used as a verb, what does myriad subtleties mean? • How is this poem a paradox? (How does it seemingly contradict itself?) • What alliteration is noticeable in the poem? • What is the author’s message?

    3. “Sympathy” group questions • What is the rhyme scheme of the poem? • Explain the metaphor in the poem? • What do you believe to be the theme of this poem? • Take special notice of the way Dunbar describes nature in the first stanza. Why do you think he does this? • Choose 4 words from the first stanza that imply peacefulness. Choose 5 words from stanza 2 and 3 that imply pain and create a negative atmosphere. What is Dunbar trying to accomplish by doing this? • Give an example today of people who can be compared to the caged bird?

    4. Maya Angelou- “Still I Rise” STILL I RISE You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard’ Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.

    5. THEMES • How is this material “timeless”? • How can it pertain to YOU 100 years later and your children’s children 50 years from now?