By Jose Erasmo Nuñez.
The poem ´´Sympathy´´ written by Paul Laurence Dunbar is about Freedom vs. Oppression. It is essential to know that, the liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression is one of the most important states in people’s lives. Nowadays, it is not a secret that people feel comfortable when they are able to speak out and say what they want to say, but it is also very important to know that people are limited by restrictions, which reduces these freedoms.
In the world that we are living now, there are many types of oppression. There are political, religious, and social oppression. Political oppression takes place when the government tries to govern people in an unfair and cruel way, and prevent them from having opportunities and getting freedom. Something curious is that, nowadays, if people do not belong to a specific religion, they can not get a good job, and in some cases, there are institutions that do not allow them to be part of them if they do not belong to the religion to which they attend. Social oppression can also be devastating for society. It is what supports the mistreatment and exploitation of a group or category of people. In the poem ´´Sympathy´´ Paul Laurence Dunbar shows this when he writes ´´I know why the caged bird beats his wing´´.
In the society that we are living now, most of the poets are feeling the necessity of writing poems about freedom. They use poetry to make known or show the things that usually are in secret or hidden. For example, Pablo Neruda is one of the greatest poets that use poetry to fight against oppression. He also brings to light the issues that are affecting the society. This is shown in the poem ´´Sympathy´´ when Paul Laurence Dunbar writes ´´I know why the caged bird sings! ´´
Nowadays, we can perceive that most of the people around the world have revolutionary blood in their veins. Sometimes when we want to get something good for society, for sure, we have to make a big effort and fight for it. When people are mistreated and oppressed, they get angry and decide to protest in different ways. They usually protest in the streets in a peaceful way, but most of the time they turn violent. In other words, people try to get their freedom in any form. When poets see this kind of situation, they also get angry and write poems about the attitude that people acquire when they are oppressed. In the poem ´´Sympathy´´ the poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, shows this when he writes ´´when he beats his bars and would be free´´.
In conclusion, it is incredible to know what people around the world do to get freedom. Oppression is something cruel. There will always be people who fight against it. The most important thing is that, with the help of the poets, to get freedom and to stop oppression is easier. The message that the author wants to show is that, no matter what life brings, you should fight to get your freedom. In my personal opinion, Paul Laurence Dunbar is right because the only thing that makes people feel strong and free is the desire to fight for the things that they want in life.