Discuss The Conflict Between Bondage And Freedom Faced By African Americans.

727 words - 3 pages

“Sympathy” by Paul Dunbar and “Bury me in a Free Land” by Frances Watkins Harper are two African American poems that differ in tone and style. Both of these poems however, despite their differences, address prominent historical aspect of African American slavery and present the misery of Black men living in America during that era. These poems, through numerous rhetoric devices, present the struggle of African Americans facing the clash between bondage and freedom.
Dunbar utilizes the analogy of caged bird in his poem “Sympathy” to expose the emotions and struggles of enslaved African Americans to achieve freedom. He begins his poem by describing the free bird singing when “sun is bright and first bud opens” to portray the beauty of landscape. However, the beauty turns into sadness when the poet states "I know what the caged bird feels, alas" which depicts a tone of sadness. This contrast between a free bird and caged bird initiates the losses of caged bird. It cannot go out and experience the freedom under the open sky. It struggles with physical constrain “till its blood is red on the cruel bars” helps visualize the intensity of struggle the bird is experiencing to gain his freedom to go where he desires, and to be with those who give him happiness. This struggle is similar of African American who tried to rebel in hopes of gaining their freedoms, but all resulted in vain. Their wounds, just like the caged bird, are “old, old scars” emphasizes that African Americans have struggle for very long time to get rid of their cage of slavery. They persists even when their “wings [are] bruised and bosom sore” in hope that someday they would succeed. They feel weary and pray from their “heart’s deep core” to end this horror of slavery. In this imagery, the poet compares a free bird who sings happily while enjoying freedom to caged birds who prays—“not a carol of joy”— for his freedom. Furthermore this comparison between imprisoned bird and African American elicits how strongly they want their freedom that has been snatched away from them. In this clash between bondage and freedom, Dunbar illustrates that African Americans...

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