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Your Task: Closely read the text entitled “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Thereafter, write a well-developed text-based response of two to three paragraphs. In your response, identify a central idea in the text and analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) develops this central idea. Use strong and thorough evidence from the text to support your analysis. Do not simply summarize the text.
Guidelines: Be sure to:
• Identify a central idea in the text
• Analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) develops this central idea. Examples include: tone, mood, characterization, imagery, symbolism, conflict, theme, etc.
• Use strong and thorough evidence from the text to support your analysis.
Organize your ideas in a cohesive and coherent manner.
“ We Wear the Mask
WE wear the mask that grins and lies, to grin means to smile
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile; guile means wickedness
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile
, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Many intricacies or small parts
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while Nay means no
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise. Tortured means abused
We sing, but oh the clay is vile vile means filthy
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!”

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