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Discussing the Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka.

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Telephone Conversation 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. ...read more.


With the persona being "West African sepia" they are worried about the way they will be treated by the landlord and are afraid that they will not be accepted the way that they would like. The poet has shown the emotion of panic from the persona through the use of personification. Although there is the suggestion that the persona is put under the pressure of trying to describe their exact tone to the landlady, "Button B. Button A." The poet has used personification to describe and perhaps hide the panic within the persona, "Red booth...squelching tar" The use of the term 'red' gives several images to the reader. The term in this context represents a hint of anger by the persona. The people of England have been indirectly described as being 'white' while the persona has been indirectly described as being black ("tar"). The atmosphere portrayed in the poem is one which is very intense and shows both characters to be impatient. ...read more.


The "Telephone Conversation" has been written in a way which the poet feels allows the reader to relate more and share the experience with the poem. The poem has the effect 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. Julie-Ann Khouri 12L ...read more.

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