Paul Laurence Dunbar

by English 102
August 4, 1995

Thesis: The major accomplishments of Paul Laurence Dunbar's life during 1872 to
1938 label him as being an American poet, short story writer, and novelist.

I. Introduction II. American poet
A. Literary English
B. Dialect poet
1. "Oak and Ivy"
2. "Majors and Minors"
3. "Lyrics of Lowly Life"
4. "Lyrics of the Hearthside"
5. "Sympathy" III. Short story writer
A. Folks from Dixie (1898)
B. The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories (1900)
C. The Heart of Happy Hollow (1904) IV. Novelist
A. The Uncalled (1898)
B. The Love of Landry (1900)
C. The Fanatics (1901)
D. The Sport of the Gods (1902) V. Conclusion

Paul ...

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operator in the
Callahan Building in Dayton.
The major accomplishments of Paul Laurence Dunbar's life during 1872 to
1938 labeled him as an American poet. Dunbar had two poetic identities. He was
first a Victorian poet writing in a comparatively formal style of literary
English. Dunbar's other identity was that of the dialect poet, writing lighter,
usually humorous or sentimental work not merely in the Negro dialect but in
other varieties as well: Irish, once in German, but very frequently in the
hoosier dialect of Indiana. There is good reason to assert, however, that the
sources of Dunbar's dialect verse were in the real language of the people. The
basic charge of this criticism can be stated in the words of a recent critic,
Jean Wagner. Dunbar's dialect is, he says, "at best a secondhand instrument,
irredeemably blemished by the degrading things imposed upon it by the enemies of
the Black people" (Revell, Paul Laurence Dunbar, pg. 84). One of the most
popular of Dunbar's ...

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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,
But a prayer that he sends from
his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven
he flings-
I know why the caged bird sings!

"Sympathy" ("sym" meaning with and "pathy" meaning feeling) is a very emotional
poem about a caged bird trapped with no way to escape. "A poem like 'Sympathy'-
with its repeated line, 'I know why the caged bird feels, alas!'- can be read as
a cry against slavery, but was probably written out of the feeling that the
poet's talent was imprisoned in ...

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Paul Laurence Dunbar. (2005, November 9). Retrieved October 18, 2018, from
"Paul Laurence Dunbar.", 9 Nov. 2005. Web. 18 Oct. 2018. <>
"Paul Laurence Dunbar." November 9, 2005. Accessed October 18, 2018.
"Paul Laurence Dunbar." November 9, 2005. Accessed October 18, 2018.
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Added: 11/9/2005 07:20:17 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1551
Pages: 6

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