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Discuss how the theme of prejudice is dealt with in 'Telephone Conversation' and in 'You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly', you should make particular reference to the language used in each poem.

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Introduction

Discuss how the theme of prejudice is dealt with in 'Telephone Conversation' and in 'You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly', you should make particular reference to the language used in each poem. Laura Pottle The poems Telephone Conversation and you will be hearing from us shortly both deal with prejudice and discrimination, however they both deal with different types. In Telephone Conversation we see racial prejudice against an African man looking for a flat, the woman is very blunt and rude. In You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly we see general prejudice in a job interview in which the speaker is patronising and very offensive. Telephone conversation is structured by one long stanza, a continuous casual conversation showing both peoples thoughts, and is an enjambment. In the first line we see the idea of the poem is a house-hunt. The man says immediately about his race, 'I am African' suggesting that he has been in that situation before. He pictures the woman while awaiting her response, he also writes 'silence' her silence shows that the woman feels superior to him. When the woman responds she shocks him when asking 'how dark' he is overcome with disbelief being asked his specific skin colour. ...read more.

Middle

However when he suggests this she is offended that he has reversed the conversation and so she will hang up. Unlike telephone conversation, you will be hearing from us shortly uses very formal language and Standard English; with the speaker there is an air of authority suggesting that what they say is right. The poem has a layout in which we do not see the applicants answer but there is a pause where they are talking. This starts out as quite a realistic interview but rapidly becomes surreal and personal. Unlike the woman in telephone conversation the speaker is patronising, however both are offensive to the person they are talking to. We also see in this poem all the prejudices you may come across all together. The poem has many questions, most of them being rhetorical, putting the applicant down. The first stanza is asking the applicant about the demands of the job, immediately putting them off. The speaker then says 'ah' showing a lack of interest. The second stanza is asking about qualifications, they have negative doubts. This is patronising to the applicant, basically saying do you think you're qualified, 'Not, we must admit, precisely what we had in mind' this suggests the applicant is not good enough, they want someone who is perfect, but no one is perfect. ...read more.

Conclusion

have had any children, that she herself should not have been born, this insults not only the applicant but her whole family. We then see assumptions made when the speaker sees that the applicant lives in a bad area, saying that they don't ask about 'domestic diasters' that 'shimmer behind that vaguely unsuitable address' this is also very offensive and surreal to what an interview would be. The last line says 'So glad we agree' the speaker wants the applicant to agree that she is a waste of space. The poem has an ingratiating, negative and sarcastic tone, the speaker is constantly patronising and offensive to the applicant making assumptions and prejudices about her looks, age, gender, accent and so on. The applicant has no chance to say her thoughts. This is different from telephone conversation to the extent that in this the applicant did not control the prejudgements made, the man in telephone conversation did, in this we see general prejudgment to telephone conversation that has specific racial prejudice. However they are similar as in both the speaker and the woman are very blunt, rude, unfriendly and sarcastic, also being offensive with no real reason as neither personally know the individual they are talking to. ...read more.

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