We all wear a mask at some part of our lives, not always a physical one and more often a physiological one. We put on a performance in our everyday lives and often wear many of these invisible masks, you could say that at work the mask I wear is that of the friendly bartender of fiction, a fairly easy task most of the time as I am a fairly easy going guy, but there are times when feeling low that putting the mask on is hard. If I finish during opening hours and have a pint, I still have to keep wearing the mask as I am still at work. The mask only begins to slip when after hours.. it is telling why bar staff are often tired. It isn’t just the long hours, it is the weight of the mask you wear when behind the bar.
Masked characters are frequent in fiction and usually masked to hide their identity for various reasons, the other reason is to hide a physical disfigurement. The most obvious example of this would be the titular Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, whose mask hides the scars of a fire. In those cases part of the story builds on the eventual unmasking of the character and the reveal of the disfigurement, I wonder though if it is fair that fiction often makes disfigurement a motive for unpleasant behaviour.