Sympathy Essay Research Paper The poem

9 September 2017

Sympathy Essay, Research Paper

The verse form & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; , by Paul Laurence Dunbar suggests to the reader a comparing between the life style of the caged bird, and the African American in the 19th century. Paul Laurence Dunbar & # 8217 ; s focal point of & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; is how the African American identifies and relates to the defeats and hurting that a caged bird experiences. Dunbar begins the verse form by saying, & # 8220 ; I know what the caged bird feels, alas! & # 8221 ; which illustrates the comparing of a caged bird to an African American.

Dunbar writes a verse form with vivid and descriptive linguistic communication throughout. Dunbar uses this to stress his point that person tied up in bondage and ironss figuratively is non fortunate plenty to bask the finer things in life. Sadly, & # 8220 ; jumping grass & # 8221 ; , a fluxing river, and budding flowers are things that unoppressed people might take for granted ( For a slave or person fighting to acquire on their pess station bondage, could non take the clip to bask life & # 8217 ; s pleasances in which Dunbar symbolically uses nature. ) Dunbar uses linguistic communication that reaches out, striking a personal chord with the reader. Grass, river, or flowers may be objects we enjoy, but underprivileged people, non needfully minorities, can non bask because of societal or economic fortunes. Underprivileged people may see white people making what they enjoy and work themselves into a defeated craze because attempt as they might, the deck is stacked against them.

Ironically, the life of the caged bird is the life of the African American. During the 19th and early twentieth centuries, the black population was enslaved and tortured by the white population. African Americans were looked down upon with disgust and unfairness. The Whites forced the inkinesss to go slaves to them because the white population possessed all of the power and wealth in America at that clip ; hence, the black population had no pick but to be enslaved. African Americans were non given the opportunity to boom and turn. In kernel, African Americans were captives in their ain place i.e. like the caged bird.

The life of a caged bird is similar. Caged birds excessively are similar captives in their ain place. A caged bird is non allowed to utilize its ability to wing, to research, and to be free. Alternatively, the caged bird is forced to be on & # 8220 ; his perch and cling when he fain would be on the bough a-swing. & # 8221 ; ( Lines 10, 11 ) Dunbar identifies the African American life style with what the caged bird feels. In the first stanza, Dunbar writes about the beauty of nature. He writes of & # 8220 ; when the Sun is bright on the upward inclines ; And the river flows like a watercourse of glass ; When the first bird sings and the first bud opes, And the swoon aroma from its goblet bargains & # 8221 ; and so Dunbar writes & # 8220 ; I know what the caged bird feels. & # 8221 ; ( Lines 2-7 ) Interpretivly, Dunbar seems to be associating the caged bird & # 8217 ; s unhappiness that stems from non being allowed to bask the cryptic beauties of nature. Dunbar efforts to convey the reader into the first stanza by arousing emotion and refection of the beautiful things that all worlds should be able to see.

In the 2nd stanza, Dunbar refers to the emotional and physical maltreatment that imprisonment and captivity evokes both in the caged bird and the African American. He begins this stanza with, & # 8220 ; I know why the caged bird beats his wing.

” ( Line 8 ) Meaning, Dunbar understands why the caged bird battles both physically and emotionally to be set free. The staying parts of the 2nd stanza portray the self-inflicted and non self-inflicted physical lesions of the caged bird to the African American. The self-inflicted lesions come from the conflict for freedom. Dunbar describes β€œwhy the caged bird beats his wing till its blood is red on the cruel bars” because β€œhe must wing back to his perch and cling when he fain would be on the bough a-swing.” ( Lines 8-11 ) The African Americans experienced this same sort of hurting from contending for their freedom. Lynching, or being put to decease by hanging or firing without legal countenance, were the outstanding picks of deathly anguish in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Lynching or crushing occurred when a slave tried to get away or disobey his/her white maestro. It seems that Dunbar is metaphorically mentioning to this in his 2nd stanza.

& # 8220 ; I know why the caged bird sings, ah me & # 8221 ; , begins the 3rd stanza of & # 8220 ; Sympathy. & # 8221 ; Singing, for the most portion, is thought to be out of felicity and contentment. On the other manus, vocalizing can be borne out of wretchedness such as we see in the history of African American vocal, singing for the slaves was for this ground. Slaves sang to show their sadness ; to let go of the emotions African Americans were non allowed showing without terrible penalty. Dunbar refers to this vocalizing in the last stanza of & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; and compares it with why the caged bird sings. Dunbar writes that the caged bird sings & # 8221 ; non a carol of joy or hilarity, but a supplication that he sends from his bosom & # 8217 ; s deep nucleus, but a supplication that upward Heaven he flings. & # 8221 ; ( Lines 18-20 ) Therefore, vocalizing is a supplication for aid and freedom for the inkinesss and the caged bird. Slaves sang non out of joy, but to submerge out their sorrow. Singing was a life jacket for African Americans during bondage as it is for the caged bird. The vocal was a supplication for compassion and freedom.

A reader could look at the verse form & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; as a piece of amusement visual perception as he is strictly speaking about past slave clip and believe it bears no relevancy to present twenty-four hours. Other readers could believe it to be directed at inkinesss that were in a battle during the clip of Reconstruction and old ages following. This verse form could be directed to anyone in any given state of affairs. That is, the poesy of beauty. It could be subjective to your frame of mention. Whether it be a occupation, school, household, or relationship state of affairss, Dunbar could be stating you ( the reader ) are trapped like the caged bird and you ( the reader ) have no other option but to use your energy to acquire out i.e. of the coop. The longer you ( the reader ) stay in a bad state of affairs, the worse the state of affairs gets, the more round up emotionally you become.

I interpret Paul Laurence Dunbar & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; as his manner of showing the suppressed life of African Americans during the 19th and 20th centuries. He articulately compares an guiltless animal & # 8217 ; s lifestyle to the life style of the African Americans. The linguistic communication chosen for this verse form evokes compassion, understanding, and understanding in the reader. In world, African Americans were denied the right to life, merely like the caged bird. This in bend allows the reader to sympathize with the lives of slaves.

Dunbar, Paul Lawrence, & # 8220 ; Sympathy & # 8221 ; in Black Voices

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