Analysis Of The Poem ' We Wear The Mask ' By Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Hiding Emotions for Survival Everybody has experienced emotions. Everyone at one point or another in life have hid from emotions; by putting on a false expression to mask the feeling of embarrassment, shame, pain or fear. Like the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” by Bo Diddley. Don’t assume the happy, jubilant, joyous expressions that someone is expressing is real. Emotions are part of everyday life, but not everyone feels the need to express themselves honestly. In the poem “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar, the mask symbolizes the imaginary wall slaves hide behind for survival. Although, the slaves are unhappy, they feel the need to smile and act accordingly. The military teaches their men and women how to keep their emotions under control; to prepare them for combat, possible capture, or the loss of a soldier. Although hiding emotions and expressions may sound brutal, being expressionless is necessary in order to survive. In the 19th Century, men who went to war were not prepared for the horrors of death. Most went to fight for their country, however, they were not prepared for the outcome and failed to see that war brings death, injuries, and psychological upset. Many men sat down their guns and gave up; hoping for a surrender. Today the military trains their men to be mentally prepared for the upsets of war. PST or Psychological Skills Training is common in just about all military training forums. This training is to help the men and
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