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Sympathy Critical Activity :The poem Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar Symbolically portrays the struggles of every day

man through the metaphore of the caged bird. The cage is the symbol of entrapment & societys restriction on human life. The birds endless struggle for freedom is restricted by the very bars of the cage yet the bird never gives up its struggle. The bird is the symbol of the enslaved Africah Americal people who struggled hard for their freedom from enslavement. The poet, paul Laurence Dunbar is acutely aware of the caged birds feelings. He expresses his sympathy for the bird. The sun rises brightly on the eastern hilly slopes. The wind blows softly over the eastern hilly slopes. The wind blows softly over the grass that goes up & down under it, and the river flows with her clear & transparent water. The early birds sings sweetly in the morning & the early bud blooms into a flower & spreads its sweet fragrance in the air. The caged bird watches them all and feels every sad about his state and the poet is painfully aware of it. The poet sees the caged bird beat his wings against the cage bars till they become red with his blood. Then he goes back to his seat & sits there. In fact, the bird wants to fly away to the tree, sit on the swinging bough & be happy. But he cannot escae from the cage. He feels unbearable pain in his old scars and begins to sense them acutely so the poet understands the futility of his struggle for freedom. The poet feels sympathy for the bird when the bird sings a sad songs. He sets the birds badly hurt wings and his aching tender bosom. The bird beats his wings against the bars of the cage. He feels that he would be free by struggling thus, songs is not a songs of happiness or joy but it is his sincere prayer to god from the bottom of his heart. It is his earnest request to him to rescue him from his enslavement. The poet very sadly admits that he knows what the caged bird sings and what he wants.


write short notes on following points.

1. The poets assessment of the Birds state of Mind.

The poet is an African- American citizen barn of two formers slaves. He has experienced the miseries & agonies of enslavement. He looks at the caged bird very sympathetically & knows that the bird is very sad. He cannot enjoy freedom so he cries desperately to free himself from the cage. In this attempts to free himself, he beats his wings against the bars of the cage. His wings are injured & bosom gets sore. His old wounds starts causing pain and acute sensation of agonies is renewed but the bird never gives up his struggle. He sings a sad song and prays to god to free him from enslavement. The poet admires the birds love for freedom. The bird wants to fly to the bough of a tree and swing on it. His desire for freedom is so strong that he doesnt bother about physical injuries and mental tortures. He feels one day he will be free & fly away in the open sky. For the poet the caged bird is an ideal example of struggling, determined and ambitious freedom lover.

2. the central idea in the poem

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