Immigration and Exclusion in Writings

Alice Thurm
Professor Miller
                                              Immigration and Exclusion in Writings    
Many poems and short stories are written about the subject of immigration and exclusion. The pieces evoke the feelings of isolation and hopelessness of the writer or the subjects they are writing about. These poems and stories show how society treats people who they believe to be different or inferior.  
“We Wear the Mask” is a poem about oppressed black Americans that have to hide their pain, frustration and fear by showing that they are happy and content. The speaker in the poem could be talking of other ethnicities, also.   Many ethnicities hide their feelings to get by in the world. This poem wears its own mask because it does not state blacks or racial prejudice. The mask covers what is really beneath the facade and hides the true feelings of desperation or disappointment for survival.
The words in the poem speak of hiding behind a mask not daring to even speak or behave unusually to avoid being out of line according to the whites and possibly being retaliated against.
“We Wear the Mask” is a form of poetry that uses rhythm and rhyme to intensify the meaning of the poem. When we see a pattern in sound we expect it to continue on through the rest of the poem. The result of a regular pattern is called meter.
“My Mother Sews Blouses” is a poem about over worked and underpaid people in factories with dreams of getting out but never are able to. Black usually signifies death in our

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culture and the black lint in her eyes may be symbolic of no future. The mother had a glimmer of hope but it was dimmed and she talks of going to night school but will not ever attend. She will never attend because she will never obtain the money to do so. She will always be poor and there is no...