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The Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Essay

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The Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

The "Telephone Conversation" by Wole Soyinka is a poem that's title is
very casual and straight forward. The poem's title shows the reader
that what they are meant to read is realistic and free flowing.

Like most poems there is a general theme that is carried on from start
to end. The "Telephone Conversation" has two main obvious themes;
these are racism and the lack of education and understanding that some
people may have. As the reader reads through the play they become
aware that the persona is African and therefore has a darker skin tone
than white skinned people.

The poet has given the persona as well as the landlady different forms
of speech. The persona appears to speak a little more formally than
the landlady and this could perhaps be to lack of education and
understanding towards the landlady or even that she feels the persona
is unclear of the English language. The persona tends to be more
formal and use more official ways of speaking,

"Down in my passport."

The speech of the landlady is written in capital letters. This could
have been done deliberately by the poet to emphasize how the landlady
imagines the persona to look like.

"ARE YOU DARK? OR VERY LIGHT?"

This illustrates to the reader that the landlady speaks slowly and
clearly to the persona as she may see the persona to be dumb and
unfamiliar with the words coming out of her mouth.

The poem's form is different to most other poems. The "Telephone
Conversation" has been written to make the reader feel more at ease
and relaxed when reading it. It is written in blank verse and
therefore there is no rhyme...


... middle of paper ...


...fect of sinking into the mind of the reader. It is
a poem which has a real meaning that is obvious to people and can help
them understand some of the problems that we face in today's society,
problems like racism. The subject of this poem is not one that is only
faced by one person. The poem can be used in a therapeutic way to
those who have experienced the same or similar discrimination in their
life. This poem helps others become more aware that they are not the
only people in the world with these thoughts and feelings and that
they have every right to speak up and express their feelings
defensively. Not only is the effect of this poem beneficial to those
who have been discriminated but also to those who are discriminating.
It allows them to open their eyes and see how they are affecting the
lives of innocent people.


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