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Compare and contrast On Judgement Day by Sipho Sepamla and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka in the theme of racial stereotypes.

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Introduction

Poetry Comparison I am going to compare and contrast two poems that have a common theme of people's assumptions and racial stereotypes. The two poems are 'On Judgement Day' by Sipho Sepamla and '"Telephone Conversation"' by Wole Soyinka. The poet of 'On Judgement Day', Sipho Sepamla, was born in 1932 and died in 2007 on January 9th at 75 years old. He was a contemporary poet, who focused on South African lives, and novelist. Sipho lived most of his life in Soweto. He studied teaching which later led to him publishing a first volume of poetry, 'Hurry up to it!' in 1975. He was active in the Black Consciousness movement and published a second poetry book 'The Soweto I Love' it was banned by the Apartheid regime. He was also a founder of the Federated Union of Black Artists. The poet of '"Telephone Conversation"', Wole Soyinka, is a Nigerian writer, poet and playwright. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, the first African to be so honoured. In 1994, he was designated United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) ...read more.

Middle

An example from this poem of this theme is '"I am African" Silence.' She does not know what to say because of her preconceived idea of black people. The two poems are very different in the way they are read; '"Telephone Conversation"' is quite funny in the way that in can be interpreted, with Wole Soyinka using wit and sarcasm to get his point across, it still has a very strong message but is said in a much less serious way. For example when the woman on the phone asks if he is dark or light, he replies by saying "You mean--like plain or milk chocolate?", which can be understood in a very condescending context to the woman, he is making fun of her and of how she judges people. It makes light of the situation even though he is most likely very fed up and upset about the way people are towards him. 'On Judgement Day' is much more formal, serious and can be inferred as quite solemn; even its title is more serious in what it refers to. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas in '"Telephone Conversation"' it comes across through the vocabulary that she is much less educated than him as his vocabulary is more complex and proper. In my opinion, I prefer '"Telephone Conversation"' as I think how Wole Soyinka talks back to the woman in a sarcastic and witty tone is funny, yet also gets the point across of not judging people before you know them, in a very good and different way. Furthermore, I like how she is judging him because she has the false stereotype of black people to be unintelligent, whereas in fact in this poem she is the one who is less educated as this is shown when he uses a more complex vocabulary and she becomes confused and doesn't understand. The two poems make me feel quite angry towards people of that time for being so judgemental and racist towards the Afrikaans and for making them feel like they weren't of part of their own country, but at the same time they make you feel sorry for people, that they were so uneducated of different races and cultures that they closed their mind to other people. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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