We Wear the Mask
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
We Wear the Mask Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What's unique about the rondeau form, and how does this particular style contribute to the poem's message?
- How do symbols—like masks and smiles—help illuminate the poem's themes? Why is it necessary for the speaker to repeat them throughout the poem?
- What's up with the speaker's rhetorical question in the second stanza? What's he really saying here?
- How do the biblical allusions in the third stanza help emphasize the speaker's emotional conflict?
- What about the ambiguity of the word "we?" Why do you think the speaker chooses to omit any specific identifiers?