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Still I Rise, We Wear The Mask

A Synthesis of these two poems.

riley wilson

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of Still I Rise, We Wear The Mask

Hello! And Welcome to The Synthesis Presentation on Still I Rise by Maya Angelou & We Wear The Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar A Little Bit About Them Maya Angelou Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on July 27 1872 in Dayton, Ohio. Dunbar was the only African-American in his class at Dayton Central High, and while he often had difficulty finding employment because of his race, he rose to great heights in school. He was the first nationally-accepted African American writer. Still I Rise By Maya Angelou You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll Rise

Does my sassiness upset you
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines,
Diggin' in my own yard You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. Analysis Of Still I Rise We Wear The Mask By Paul Laurence Dunbar WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our checks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask! Analysis Of We Wear The Mask The Synthesis! Both poems send a message: No matter how much hate and racism they endure they will resist, overcome and re-define their identity against stereotypes.
Still I Rise
Ex:1. Rising dust. For dust to rise, it must be unsettled from the ground in some way and then forms a dust cloud. But once the dust has been unsettled from the ground, it can leave and RISE. This can be applied to Angelou’s overcome of the obstacles and her oppressors on the “ground” and rising above them all and it shows African-American people are strong, determined.
Ex:2. "Just like hopes springing high.” Shows her optimistic and strong faith to overcome oppression.

We Wear The Mask - “with torn and bleeding hearts we smile,” which shows the pain and oppression that the African-Americans felt. A smile is sometimes worn to hide their true emotion; and to be able to endure daily persecution. The speaker is stating that there is a real human being underneath the mask and not just the sambo character. S. The people that wear this mask are not showing their true feelings to the outside world because they will probably be taken advantage of if they did.

P. The Theme is: People conceal their true emotions with false appearances.

I. 1) Metaphor - "We wear the "Mask"" - The speaker states that the mask is a falsehood of their feelings.
2) Repetition - “We wear the mask” for emphasize.
3) Paradox(Metaphor) - “With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,” refers to their pains, oppression. They pretend to smile in order to live with ease.

D. Standard English.

E. The poem is a lyric and an elegy with 3stanzas. The poem mourns for the loss of identity. Iambic tetrameter and the rhythm - almost each line has 4 pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables “we wear/the mask/that grins/and lies.” (a,a,b,b,c)(a,a,b,c)(a,a,b,b,a,c)

R. There are end rhymes throughout the poem. “Lies, eyes, guile, smile, over-wise, sighs, while, cries, arise, vile, mile, otherwise. The tone of this poem is depressing. S. In the poem Still I Rise (by Maya A.) the speaker is saying that no matter what you say or do to us we will "rise" out and above these hardships.

P. The theme of Still I Rise is - We will overcome all forms of oppression. Evidence supporting this theme is within every stanza, she states what they want or what they might do and she states that she will rise above it, just as the "moons and the suns" rise daily.

I. Simile- “Shoulders falling down like teardrops” we get an image of drooping shoulders (like the shape of a tear)
and the tear itself is immediately associated with sadness.
Repetition- “I rise” and “Still I rise”
are used repetitively throughout the poem
to show that the speaker continues to
overcome each situation of oppression
Metaphors- “You may shoot me with your words” “You may cut me with your eyes” “I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide” D. This poem has standard English and some colloquial language. “’Cause” “Diggin”

E. There are eight stanzas in this poem. Each containing 4 lines except for the 8th stanza it has 15 lines. The final stanza in the poem is shown to be the most important. It contains lots of repetition of "I rise" to show how much she will over come.

R. This is a lyric poem, its rhyme scheme is ABCB except for the final stanza which follow a similar but different rhythmic flow. Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father sent them to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother. Maya Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination during her childhood. When she moved to San Francisco she danced professionally in clubs(pretty funny). Maya Angelou is a poet, a producer, and a civil rights activist. Paul Laurence Dunbar Conversation Within The Literature When Paul Laurence Dunbar was writing "We Wear The Mask" it was during the early 20th century before America saw Aferican-Americans as human beings. Therefore he could only argue the point within the poem that underneath this "mask" there is a human. He was trying to show that to people through his literature, and in our opinion he did this extraordinarily. Then in 1978 Maya Angelou wrote "Still I Rise", in this poem you can see how she over comes all the forms of oppression by being strong and determinant. Within her poem you see that not only does she over come the stereotypes and oppression but she also redefines herself as "black ocean, leaping and wide". Within these two great poems you can see the order of how African-Americans progressed within society. They went from just wearing the "mask" to being able to redefine who they are as a people. ^The Mask^ ^Sambo^ Synthesis
Connection: to redefine individual identity

The mask is a metaphor for perceived/hidden identity to the authentic one. The “mask” is how African American played the characters to show the outside world for survival. Underneath it, it is real human being. He was arguing for equal identity.

Still I rise
She redefined who she is by stating "I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide". “Leaving behind nights of terror and fear,” she moves on from the past. The past is not being overlooked, but to embrace and to be proud of her cultural roots “that [her] ancestors gave.” She’s not taking the pain to the future.
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