Summary Of Oppression By Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Oppression is at the root of many of the most serious, enduring conflicts in the world. Times were tough in America during the turn of the century. Lots of changes were occurring, and many folks had a difficult time coming to terms with them. Black Americans in particular found themselves caught in a culture that appeared somewhat better than it had been before and during the Civil War. But the fact of the matter was: things just weren't so peachy. This poem is a reaction to the racial climate of the late nineteenth century. The son of former slaves, Paul Laurence Dunbar, was born on June 27, 1872 in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had been enslaved in Kentucky before the American Civil War. At age 33, he died of tuberculosis on February 9, 1906. He was the first African-American poet to reach a wide audience, publishing verse poems and short stories before his early death. His use of both negro dialect and standard English helped to portray his cultural lifestyle, joys, and tribulations distinguishing him from other writers of the late 1800s, early 1900s. In his poem, the speaker opens the poem with the declaration that we wear masks that hide our true feelings. He goes on to emphasize the severity of the pain and suffering that these masks try to cover up. By the end we understand that all of the politeness and subdued emotions are just phony disguises of the painful truths that hide behind them. With that knowledge, he try’s to get his audience to understand his purpose in

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