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Discuss how poets use the technique of masking their personas in order to convey the message to the reader.

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Introduction

In this study, I will discuss how poets use the technique of masking their personas in order to convey the message to the reader. The poems, The Woman With whom I Share My Husband written by Bitek and Smiles written by Szymborska both portrait characters who try to be somebody who they are not. The poets use the human condition where people hide true emotions and show a foreign personality in order to satisfy others and be accepted. Szymborska uses the technique of masking his personas in the poem, Smiles in order to show a message relating to the human condition where people in power use a false display of emotions in order to satisfy the people who contribute towards keeping them in power. Bitek uses the same technique of masked personas relating to the human condition where an old African woman Tina tries to imitate the western ways in order to satisfy her husband. It can also be seen that the technique of masking is used for mocking in both poems. The poem, 'Smiles', reflects upon elements in the human condition. ...read more.

Middle

It is implied throughout the poem that people are never satisfied by nature. "Our times are still not safe and sane enough / for faces to show ordinary sorrow." This quote suggests that humans are sorrowful creatures by nature. Being dissatisfied and holding out for more in life are natural elements found in the human condition. Therefore people in authority, who come to power and maintain it thanks to the vote of the people, show false emotions in order to prevent society from feeling the jagged teeth of reality. It can be seen that the personas of the people in authority created by Szymborska has been masked. "Dreamers keep saying, 'Human brotherhood / will make this place a smiling paradise'. I am not convinced. The statesman in that case, / would not require facial exercise." This quotation is significant as it openly displays the masked persona of the statesman, and it can also be perceived that the masked character is addressed as a "Dreamer", therefore mocking it. ...read more.

Conclusion

"She dusts the ash dirt all over / her face. / And when little sweat / Begins to appear on her body / She looks like the guinea fowl." This description of Clementine given by Lawino, shows us that Lawino is mocking the masked persona of Clementine. Bitek, incorporates a negative tone to Clementine's description in order to mock the people who mask their true identity. The persona of Clementine is significant as it represents the individuals of society who have masked personalities in order to deceive others. When considering the poems, 'Smiles' by Szymborska and 'The Woman With Whom I Share My husband" by Bitek, we can see that the technique of masking the personas generated by the authors is present in both poems. In the poem, 'Smiles', Szymborska, masks the personas, which represents figures of authority in society in order to convey the message that masks are used in order to deceive others. Bitek uses masked personas in order to convey a similar message in the poem, "The Woman With Whom I share My Husband". The mockery of Clementine is indirectly focused towards the individuals in society who mask their true identities in order to satisfy others. ...read more.

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