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We Wear The Mask By Paul Laurence Dunbar

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“Shapeshifting requires the ability to transcend your attachments, in particular your ego attachments to identity and who you are. If you can get over your attachment to labeling yourself and your cherishing of your identity, you can be virtually anybody. You can slip in and out of different shells, even different animal forms or deity forms.” - Zeena Schreck, religious leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement. In the poem “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar the reader should learn that individuals feel the need to wear a mask to change their personality into the more ideal individual which surpasses their confidence, fear, insecurities, and emotions. This poem develops the realities about self-image and how it makes individuals act in society.
Initially, the poem opens with “ We wear the mask that grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes” (Dunbar, 1-2). The mask presents the truthful and untruthful sides of individuals. The mask is also a work of craftiness as it forces the individual to appear happy, regardless of the pain they may be feeling beneath the surface. Individuals that struggle with themselves wear a mask to show everyone else that they are not struggling and have everything figured out. Just like being in pain “With torn and bleeding hearts we smile” (Dunbar, 3). Individuals force smiles on their faces to portray to others that they are happy no matter whats going on in their life.
However, this poem is also relevant to the “Nobody
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