• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Telephone ConversationBy: Wole Soyinka This one stanza poem clearly elaborates on the idea of color prejudice that is common among most of middle class society. It

Extracts from this document...


Poetry Essay Telephone Conversation By: Wole Soyinka This one stanza poem clearly elaborates on the idea of color prejudice that is common among most of middle class society. It shows that how ever well educated and proper a black person might be, he is still not trusted by most whites. It also shows how colored people view the idea of questioning the darkness of their skin and also how the landlady, the white representative, views it. The poet starts out with an impersonal style at the beginning. He gives us an idea about the circumstances surrounding the situation, by revealing that he is trying to rent an apartment, and has found that this one seems to have a "reasonable" price, the "location", and the "landlady swore she lived off the premises". He then faces another problem which he seems to have experienced before; this problem is confessing his skin color to the landlady. ...read more.


Still in disbelief, the poet is assured he hasn't "misheard" as the landlady repeats the question in a slightly different form "are you light or very dark?" He compares her question to two buttons from which he is to choose "Button B" or "Button A." The poet also compares the situation to a foul smelling game of hide and seek as he says, the "stench of rancid breath of public hide and speak". Not knowing what to say in response to her question, the poet starts to look around at the "red booth, red pillar box, red double-tiered omni-bus squelching tar. We notice that everything seems to be red except for the tar which is black. The poet then explains how he feels shame and rage for this "ill-mannered silence", which is very ironic as the landlady is the one who should feel such shame for asking this obscene question. ...read more.


He then explains this as he says the palms of his hand and the soles of his feet are"peroxide blond", and his bottom is also "raven black". By mentioning his "bottom" Soyinka reveals the bad-breeding of the black man in contrast with that of the landlady, who chooses to hang up. Wishing she would just wait for a moment and as a final plea he asks if she wouldn't rather see for herself? This poem shows that although the black man has a better education the landlady seems to have the upper hand due to racial prejudice. He uses alliteration on the "s" and inversion to emphasize certain points like "considerate she was". In this free verse poem Soyinka uses advanced diction for the black man to show his education, while he uses comparatively basic wording for the landlady to show how poor her education is. Moreover, he uses a telegrammed style to get his point across using the minimum number of words. Finally, I think this poem succeeds in showing what racist middle class women are really like. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Work & Leisure section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Work & Leisure essays

  1. Education is a means of brainwashing a society and reinforcing prejudice. Do you agree?

    Most comparable to that is our play "The Crucible", where Christian laws are misinterpreted and led to a massacre where many innocent people were killed. "Woman, before the laws of God we are swine! We cannot read his will!"(p.106 reverend Hale)


    the education system or even reject the value system of education altogether. The work of Paul Willis, for example, suggests that educational 'failure' may be partly the product of some working-class pupils resisting dominant definitions of what constitutes 'success' and 'failure'.

  1. In "Those Bastards" Simon Armitage writes about the fear that upper classes have upon ...

    Moreover, by claiming that they are Gods, both personas have a great confidence, they are deluded and they feel that they can otherthrow the elite - that's why she is scared. Moreover, the tone of those two poems differ in order to emphasize two types of the disspossesed.

  2. The upper and even middle class, which usually has a good education, have the ...

    We need to make it our goal as a society to educate the uneducated. If everyone is educated then there is equal opportunity and pay therefore eliminating social class. If the enlightened educated class can just come into the cave, relate with the people, and then actually show them the

  1. “Work Place Discipline” and its influence on nineteenth century English society

    Traditionally there would be periods of intense activity but also lulls, which allowed for relaxation. Because of his involvement in the many stages of production, from ploughing the land through planting and tending to harvesting the crops, he could set his own timetable according to his needs.

  2. Look at "Bookends" How does Harrison convey the nature of his relationship with his ...

    This portrayal is increased a few lines later when Harrison quotes his mother. " You're like bookends, the pair of you" This quote clearly demonstrates the mother's role within this family. The mother is what holds Harrison and his father together, keeps them talking and acting like father and son.

  1. My Fair Lady: What does the play show us of the society of its ...

    This gained Doolittle a wealthy sum of money by an American "old blighter" by the name of Ezra D. Wannafeller, without even wanting it. "Tied me up and delivered me into the hands of middle class morality." - P86 Ezra D.

  2. So You Want to be a Game Programmer?

    Above all, talk to the faculty and students. You can find dud faculty members at the best institutions and excellent faculty members at the most obscure places. Remember, a university is mostly about people. Check them out before you make a commitment to go there.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work