With reference to "The Telephone Call" and "Telephone Conversation" discuss and compare the effectiveness of the poet's choice of form, style and use of poetic techniques in order to convey their messages.

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With reference to “The Telephone Call” and “Telephone Conversation” discuss and compare the effectiveness of the poet’s choice of form, style and use of poetic techniques in order to convey their messages.

The overall message carried in Wole Soyinka’s poem “Telephone Conversation” is the fact that blacks are treated with unbelievable ignorance. I believe that Soyinka conveys this message very effectively through the use of form, style and poetic techniques.

        The form of “Telephone Conversation” seems to almost represent a dramatic monologue. This is quite ironic because there are actually two people speaking. Perhaps by giving the poem this form, Soyinka is trying to suggest that the African man feels like he’s talking to himself, since the landlady is almost ignoring what he says.  I believe the continuous form of the poem can reflect the continuing ignorance of white people towards black people.

        Soyinka’s style exposes racism in a fairly critical, yet humorous way. This is clearly shown with the comical line of “You mean – like plain or milk chocolate?” When reading this for the first time, we are amused by this comparison; however, working on a different level, we can appreciate the critical sarcasm that Soyinka conveys towards the ignorance of the white landlady.

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        Soyinka’s humorous sarcasm is also seen when the man says “West African sepia” and “Down in my passport.”  The landlady is then described as having a “Silence for spectroscopic flight of fancy”. This is quite critical and mocking the landlady because we realize that she tries to imagine what color “West African sepia” is, without realizing the sarcasm of the man’s words.

        Soyinka’s effective use of metaphors and similes can be seen when the man compares his color to shades of hair color “Like brunette” and the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet to “peroxide blond.” This is, of ...

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