Paul Laurence Dunbar

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Paul Laurence Dunbar


Thesis: The major accomplishments of Paul Laurence Dunbar's life during 1872 to 1938 label him as being an American poet, short story writer, and novelist.

I. Introduction

II. American poet

A. Literary English

B. Dialect poet

1. 'Oak and Ivy'

2. 'Majors and Minors'

3. 'Lyrics of Lowly Life'

4. 'Lyrics of the Hearthside'

5. 'Sympathy'

III. Short story writer

A. Folks from Dixie (1898)

B. The Strength of Gideon and Other Stories (1900)

C. The Heart of Happy Hollow (1904)

IV. Novelist

A. The Uncalled (1898)

B. The Love of Landry (1900)

C. The Fanatics (1901)

D. The Sport of the Gods (1902)

V. Conclusion

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar attended grade schools and Central High School in Dayton, Ohio. He was editor of the High School Times and president of Philomathean Literary Society in his senior year. Despite Dunbar's growing reputation in the then small town of Dayton, writing jobs were closed to black applicants and the money to further his education was scarce.

In 1891, Dunbar graduated from Central High School and was unable to find a decent job. Desperate for employment, he settled for a job as an elevator operator in the Callahan Building in Dayton.

The major accomplishments of Paul Laurence Dunbar's life during 1872 to 1938 labeled him as an American poet. Dunbar had two poetic identities. He was first a Victorian poet writing in a comparatively formal style of literary English. Dunbar's other identity was that of the dialect poet, writing lighter, usually humorous or sentimental work not merely in the Negro dialect but in other varieties as well: Irish, once in German, but very frequently in the hoosier dialect of Indiana. There is good reason to assert, however, that the sources of Dunbar's dialect verse...