Paul Lawrence Dunbar Sympathy Analysis

Words: 666
Pages: 3

In Sympathy by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the poet uses figurative languages, logic, controlling figures and connotation to convey the reader to the theme. The main theme of the poem is freedom. The extended metaphor of a bird was used to express the idea that he, too, feels trapped. The bird signifies himself and the cage represents the bubble he is in from the world.
The poet use of logic is what makes the reader understand the figurative languages throughout the story. If the figure was a mouse instead of a bird, it would have taken the reader to another path. But the use of logic in this contest relies on the readers previously held knowledge of birds. Such as birds are free, can fly, sing, etc., and don't want to be confined Dunbar was from a former slave family. He went to a white school and found out he was talented in writing but he wasn’t able to afford higher education to pursue it as career. Although, he still became a writer. Unfortunately, he
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"When the sun is bright on the upland slopes/When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass” (Line 2-3). The bird sees his world but it is incapable of the freedom of flying around. Its freedom is taken away from his hand just like Dunbar’s writing care was taken away from because he couldn’t afford it. The poet uses the bird as a vehicle and himself as a tenor to express his needs of freedom.
"I know what the cage bird feels, alas!"(Line 5). Dunbar uses the “I know” pattern throughout the poem to emphasis the bird's feeling is actually his. When he wanted to pursue writing, he couldn't afford the school. As he finds a way to his career he got criticized. He understands what the bird is going through, he feels for the bird because he too is in that situation. In fact, the bird is him. The use of the patterns is made for the reader to emphasis the poet's