Mask

by Shel Silverstein

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Literal

They had their flaws but hid them. They were looking for someone who suffered from the same flaws. When they finally found someone who shared their fatal flaw they didnt know it. Both of them were trying to hide their flaws.
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Structure

This poem consists of a few short and simple lines. It is written free form similar to most other narratives. Being a narrative, as well as a children's book, free form was chosen to make it simple to understand and display the story easily. this poem has the ability to be described as written as a chronological cause and effect poem. This is because the first cause is that they had blue skin and as a result of the blue skin they hid it. The second cause was their want to find someone that was like them. This left an effect of them searching throughout their lives for their match. Due to the cause of them hiding their blue, when they found each other in an effect they didn't know they had finally found their match. This poem starts with both characters being alone and circles back around to end with them alone again, even though they had found their match. The attitude of the poem is constant always talking about them being stuck alone to deal with their flaws. Their are five simple sentences in this poem but it is not about the amount or words but what they symbolize or mean. The sentences are structured normally, being a child's poem, though the poem is much deeper than that. The lines in this poem only have punctuation at the end of the sentence, end-stopped lines, or continue till the end of the next line till the punctuation is seen. One of the lines is concluded with a dash causing anticipation. This is what the author used to find an end to the poem. The purpose of title mask is to represent the hiding of the characters' secret flaw.
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Language

This poem is found inside a book that is often considered a children's book, meaning that the language is simple and very common. It is a five sentence poem, it tells a story of an entire life, forcing the words to have the ability to be able to easily display the story. Being that the language is simple and common all of the words are easily understood. The blue in this poem represents the parts of the characters that they are scared for the world to see. This part of them is most likely their flaws that are waiting to be accepted or their baggage that has had a toll on them throughout their entire lives. The mask in this poem symbolizes the facade that these characters are using instead of displaying their flaws to the entire world. The blue skin represent the ugly, messed up, or different exterior of the characters.Though this poem has very few figurative language, most of it is a symbol for something else, as well as the poem itself symbolizing something bigger than the poem itself. This something is the acceptance of ones baggage in the name of love.
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Musical Device

The rhyme scheme of the poem is ABACDDEE. This is a strong satisfying rhyme scheme, having the ability to fit with any beat or rhythm. There is a slight meter in the poem though the rhyme scheme is what is truly prominent. The poem has a regular pattern and displays simplicity. Despite the simplistic rhyme scheme the poem's stressed syllables makes it disconcerting. The rhyme scheme emphasizes the assonance throughout making the tonal effect somber. The rhyme scheme helps the poem to resonate more with the reader causing the reader to truly think about the meaning and what it means to them.
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Situation

This narrative poem tells a story of two people who were born with flaws that made them so self concious that they felt the need to hide it. They searched all their lives to find someone like them but while searching, they hid their flaws. When their paths crossed they were so busy hiding their own flaws that they couldnt see the other one was hiding theirs as well. All the flawed people saw was the other's disguise, so they continued searching even though they had truly found the one. The color blue often seen as sad, and since the poem is about two blue people not finding happiness the mood of the story is like their skin color; blue and sad. The poem is speaking directly to the reader by telling a story that they are not involved in. The speaker is not trustworthy because he is not participating in the narrative he is just telling a story. if he had been one of the blue people his story would be more trustworthy. The speaker does not have a specific attitude towards the subject, though it is possible to interpret his wording as sorrow for the two people that the poem is about saying they searched "their whole life through" and found their match but "never knew". It could also be said that the speaker feels guilt that these people who had to struggle through their lives with their fatal flaws never found their happiness that they seemed to have deserved.