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We Wear the Mask Explication Paragraph 2

Paul Laurence Dunbar Note the poet’s techniques

We wear the mask that grins and lies,


It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
5 And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,


In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

10 We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries


To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
15 We wear the mask!
Explication Paragraph 1
• What is being dramatized?
(conflicts or themes)

• Who is the speaker?

• Who is the audience? Other


characters?

• What happens in the poem?

• When does the action occur?

• Where is the speaker?.

• Why does the speaker feel


compelled to speak at this
moment? What is his/her
motivation?
Name______________________________ “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Explication Paragraph 1 (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
This poem dramatizes the conflict between__________________________________________
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Explication Paragraph 2 (Fig. Lang., Tone, Vocabulary, Sound)


The poet’s use of different techniques reveals the poem’s meaning. At the beginning,_________
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