Dunbar and Cullen

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    The poem, “We Wear the Mask” and “Yet I do marvel” both speak on the idea of silence. In Dunbar’s Poem, “We Wear the Mask”, Dunbar uses the symbolism of the mask to exemplify the idea of silence. Silence is in the physical suffering when Dunbar writes, “It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes –… With torn and bleeding hearts we smile.” Dunbar also uses repetition.

    In contrast, Cullen uses religion and concepts from Greek mythology to show his oppression and silence when he writes, “If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus To struggle up a never-ending stair” Cullen is also more optimistic and says, “Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing”, creating a contrast between the dark, negativity against blacks and pointing out a contradiction that blacks are not made to suffer.

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