Telephone Conversation


Length: 740 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document


The poem 'Telephone conversation' is staged by a black man who is looking for a flat but ends up phoning to a landlady who is racist but tries to be polite in finding out whether he is he is a dark or light one. When he first speaks to her he feels awkward as he feels he has to confess that he is African. Also I think he feels as though he has been in the same position before somewhere else and he knows what is expected from people like the landlady he is speaking to. When he tells her that he is African she becomes speechless and wants to know if he is light or dark brown. She puts her words in a more polite way of asking but they are not to the point of what they could be which makes it more harder for the answers. His response to the question 'How dark?' 'Are you light or very dark?' is to get her back and deliberately embarrass her by putting in words of what she meant when she asked that question. When he answers the question this time he gives her a sarcastic answer that he just made up to be awkward. She then becomes stuck and wants an immediate answer as you can see by the tone of her voice. The poem also has a number of amusing lines to bring in some humour "by sitting down has turned my bottom black" Again when he gives her this information he is trying to embarrass her. The whole conversation seems like a war between then because she is racist and he gets her back by embarrassing her. The poem is very much like a play showing everyday life as a black person who wants to rend a room from a racist landlady. I think that the poem is quite effective as it is a more modern and day to day situation rather than "Strange Fruit". Both the poems are featured on racial prejudice. I think that the telephone conversation would be more effective because it is more modern and likely to happen than walking through some part of a country and finding black bodies swinging from trees

The poem 'Telephone conversation' is staged by a black man who is looking for a flat but ends up phoning to a landlady who is racist but tries to be polite in finding out whether he is he is a dark or light one.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Telephone Conversation." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Aug 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=69118>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Racism in Cullen's Incident and Soyinka's Telephone Conversation Essay - Racism in Cullen's Incident and Soyinka's Telephone Conversation The poem "Incident," by Countee Cullen, deals with the effect racism has on a young black child vacationing in Baltimore. The child is mistreated by a white child and disturbed in his innocence so much that after spending seven months in Baltimore, this is all he remembers. A different poem, "Telephone Conversation, " by Wole Soyinka, also deals with this issue, but from a different perspective. In this poem a man is trying to rent an apartment but the owner of the complex doesn’t want him to move in because he is African....   [tags: Incident Telephone] 916 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Essay - 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....   [tags: Papers Poem Poetry] 1012 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Telephone Conversation - The poem 'Telephone conversation' is staged by a black man who is looking for a flat but ends up phoning to a landlady who is racist but tries to be polite in finding out whether he is he is a dark or light one. When he first speaks to her he feels awkward as he feels he has to confess that he is African. Also I think he feels as though he has been in the same position before somewhere else and he knows what is expected from people like the landlady he is speaking to. When he tells her that he is African she becomes speechless and wants to know if he is light or dark brown....   [tags: Racism] 740 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird & Telephone Conversation Essay - The dictionary defines prejudice as a learned, preformed, and unsubstantiated judgment or opinion about an individual or a group, either favorable or unfavorable in nature. Through the study of the book, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and the poem Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka, ones understanding of prejudice and what makes up prejudice changes considerably for what could be perceived as for the better or for the worse. Being ignorant of what is happening or not knowing and properly understanding what prejudice is can make it easy to turn a blind eye to what is happening around you....   [tags: Harper Lee Wole Soyinka] 1169 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Commentary on Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Essay examples - Commentary on Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Wole Soyinka recollects vividly in Ake Mrs. Huti talking about white racism. He was thus mentally prepared to cope with the racism before he left for England. The race problem which has been treated with levity in the immigrant poems is treated from the poet’s personal experience in “Telephone Conversation.” “Telephone Conversation” involves an exchange between the black speaker and a white landlady. This poem more than any other is enriched by Soyinka’s experience of drama....   [tags: English Literature] 530 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Commonality In Blake's The Little Black Boy and Soyinka's Telephone Conversation - Separated by centuries, races, national identities, and countless literary movements, the English poet and artist William Blake and Nigerian poet and playwright Wole Soyinka still find commonality in their writings. They have somewhat of a thematic overlap; both Blake and Soyinka address a question of race in their poems “The Little Black Boy” and “Telephone Conversation,” respectively. The former details the story of an African child who comes to the profound realization that only after death can different races of humans be equalized....   [tags: William Blake, Wole Soyinka, Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
1946 words
(5.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Racism in Amistad, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and Telephone Conversation Essay - The texts To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, Amistad directed by Steven Spielberg and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka explore the issue of racism. These three texts focus on prejudice, discrimination, bias, behaviour and attitude revolving around the issue of discrimination because of the coulour of ones skin and the cultural and social attitudes past on from one generation to another. Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel set in the southern states of the USA in the 1930’s, a time that is “Post Abolitionist”, however a time where the culture and social structure is still entrenched with racist attitudes and laws....   [tags: essays research papers] 1792 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Prejudice in Telephone Conversation and Dinner Guest-Me Essay - Prejudice in Telephone Conversation and Dinner Guest-Me In the two poems, ‘Telephone Conversation’ and ‘Dinner Guest-Me,’ each poet uses their poetry as a means of confronting and challenging prejudice. In ‘Telephone Conversation’ by Wole Soyinka, a phone conversation takes place between an African man and a very artificial lady about renting out a room. When the lady finds out he is African she becomes very prejudiced and racist towards him. ‘Dinner Guest-Me’ by Langston Hughes is about a black man going to a dinner party where he is the only coloured person there, like he is the ‘token black.’ Anger and a sense of humour are shown in both of the poems....   [tags: Wole Soyinka Langston Hughes Poetry Essays] 763 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Horrors of Society Illustrated in ‘Telephone Conversation’ by Wole Soyinka and ‘Prayer Before Birth’ by Louis Macneice - ... We get the impression that society will make her into something she is not – it will ‘dragoon me into a lethal automaton’. In this metaphor the word ‘dragoon’ refers to being forced to do something. It was often used in the past when people were forced into the military, and so it makes me think that she will be forced to be violent. This is supported by the world ‘lethal’. An automaton cannot think for itself, and so she is scared that society will take away her decision making facilities. Each stanza starts off wide, before narrowing to a point – it is like her personality, her true self is being squeezed out by society....   [tags: desperation, emotions, poetry] 1077 words
(3.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Comparing Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is West Indian and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka - Comparing Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is West Indian and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka Works Cited Missing The poems I have studied are 'Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is West Indian and 'Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka. The theme of both of the poems is based on racism. The language used in both of the poems is Standard English, dialect, onomatopoeia and symbolic....   [tags: Papers] 636 words
(1.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




When he first speaks to her he feels awkward as he feels he has to confess that he is African. Also I think he feels as though he has been in the same position before somewhere else and he knows what is expected from people like the landlady he is speaking to. When he tells her that he is African she becomes speechless and wants to know if he is light or dark brown. She puts her words in a more polite way of asking but they are not to the point of what they could be which makes it more harder for the answers. His response to the question 'How dark?' 'Are you light or very dark?' is to get her back and deliberately embarrass her by putting in words of what she meant when she asked that question. When he answers the question this time he gives her a sarcastic answer that he just made up to be awkward. She then becomes stuck and wants an immediate answer as you can see by the tone of her voice. The poem also has a number of amusing lines to bring in some humour "by sitting down has turned my bottom black" Again when he gives her this information he is trying to embarrass her. The whole conversation seems like a war between then because she is racist and he gets her back by embarrassing her. The poem is very much like a play showing everyday life as a black person who wants to rend a room from a racist landlady. I think that the poem is quite effective as it is a more modern and day to day situation rather than "Strange Fruit". Both the poems are featured on racial prejudice. I think that the telephone conversation would be more effective because it is more modern and likely to happen than walking through some part of a country and finding black bodies swinging from trees




Return to 123HelpMe.com