Analysis of Sympathy
The metal cage holds in those who are turned away from society and hurts them in the process. The poem Sympathy was written by Paul Laurence Dunbar. It explores the racism that imprisons his soul. Dunbar uses the caged bird as a symbol of racism. The entrapped bird is hurt and injured while great things are happening around it. The tone is pleading and anguish over the racism that is expressed toward the black community. It explains the wonderful sun and beautiful weather and how the caged bird cannot feel it because it is entrapped by racism. “But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings.” This shows how he is adamant on getting rid of racism but he is the caged bird trapped by the racism and hatred of others. As the poem continues on Dunbar shows the darkness of racism and how the caged bird can even be bruised and sore. “When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, When he beats his bars and he would be free; It is not a carol of joy or glee.” He beats his wings against the cage which is society holding him in by racism. The only way he would be free if society forgets the differences and establishes a community that accepts adversity. This is not a happy matter and Dunbar is sending a message to everyone by begging them to fight racism instead of embracing it. The frail caged bird can only be free by the decisions and actions of others and it is powerless over the might and will of humanity. Tear the cages apart and bend the bars for we are all birds within a cage.
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