During the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the African American population still felt the aftermath of slavery through the beliefs and actions of the white societies. During slavery African Americans were dehumanized, looked upon as property, and treated worse than animals. Furthermore, slaves were denied the right to life, forced to work endlessly, and suffered abuse from their masters. However, slavery ended in 1865 and yet Africans are still suffering from the entrapment of society. Paul Laurence Dunbar’s "", written in 1899 gives the reader a comparison between the life of a caged bird and the African Americans throughout history. Dunbar uses vivid language, ...

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the bars that surround his prison. The bird is beat up emotionally because his frustration and anger will never be satisfied by the freedom his wishes for. The longer the bird expends its energy to get out of the cage the more physically and emotionally beat up the bird will become. The bird does not cease to stop fighting "Till its blood is red on the cruel bars"(9). The blood on the bars of his cage marks both the bird and the African Americans strength in battle for freedom and success. Both are willing to inflict pain on themselves in order to gain freedom. The blood is also ambiguous because it symbolizes the bird and African Americans identity. The African American society lives feeling that they are trapped in a cage; however, instead of bars there are racists and stereotypes. Once the bird realizes that he has lost yet another battle for freedom he then must "fly back to his perch and cling"(10). However, the bird would much rather be happily swinging on ...

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Sympathy. (2005, March 28). Retrieved January 16, 2019, from
"Sympathy.", 28 Mar. 2005. Web. 16 Jan. 2019. <>
"Sympathy." March 28, 2005. Accessed January 16, 2019.
"Sympathy." March 28, 2005. Accessed January 16, 2019.
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Added: 3/28/2005 12:55:43 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 626
Pages: 3

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