Telephone Conversation Poem Essay

Telephone Conversation Poem Essay-72
The landlady asks with a sarcastic tone if he was light or very dark.A sense of anger rose inside the man and it has been portrayed by repeating the word red. " Button B, Button A.* Stench Of rancid breath of public hide-and-speak. Palm of my hand, soles of my feet Are a peroxide blond.

The landlady asks with a sarcastic tone if he was light or very dark.

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The poem depicts a black man who is trying to confirm housing with a landlady over the phone and begins after the two have discussed location and pricing. At the beginning of the poem, the man “confesses” that he is an African.

The speaker wishes to inform the landlady that he is black, and then a ridiculous conversation ensues regarding how dark his skin color is. He confesses the colour of his skin as if he had done a crime.

Towards the end when realization dawns upon him he tries ridiculing or mocking the lanlady.

Again this story has lots of sarcasm and somewhere a tone of dejection.

It is absurd in the traditional sense--it makes absolutely no sense--and it is absurd in the literary sense--totally out of the speaker's control.

"Nigerian poet Wole Soyinka uses irony to depict the absurdity of racism in his poem, "Telephone Conversation." The situation and resulting conversation the speaker finds himself in is, indeed, absurd.The last line of the poem also leaves a sense of mystery in the reader.Wole Soyinka brings out a great use of irony in this poem. Considerate she was, varying the emphasis--"ARE YOU DARK? " Revelation came."You mean--like plain or milk chocolate? Shamed By ill-mannered silence, surrender Pushed dumbfounded to beg simplification.The African man was being very sarcastic about the colour of his skin but the landlady could not accept the fact that he was black.When his sarcasm reached a peak, he sensed that the landlady was goind to hang up on him. The first tone of irony is sensed when the man confesses that he is an African.He suddenly stops and says, “’Madam,’ I pleaded,’ wouldn’t you rather see for yourself? When describing the lady, the poet uses a lot of sarcastic language.Irony is lastly used when the man describes himself to the woman. "Madam," I warned,"I hate a wasted journey—I am African."Silence. The speaker replies with tongue-in-cheek irony, making fun of the woman at the other end of the telephone line. The narrator of the poem describes a telephone conversation in which he reaches a deal with a landlady to rent an apartment. '" The narrator is "dumbfounded." Instead of telling her, "It's none of your business," or simply, "Let's forget about the apartment," he offers a cryptic response: "'West Affrican sepia.'" When the landlady asks for clarification, the narrator only confuses matters further: He makes matters even worse by saying that "friction" has somehow turned his buttocks "raven black." (If you want to see an interesting discussion of how blacks and whites fail to communicate, follow the link below to Barack Obama's famous speech about race from March 2008.) The poem “Telephone Conversation” has been written by Wole Soyinka. How does one salvage a situation in which one is asked how dark one is? The poem reveals ignorance, culture gaps, problems with verbal conversation, and most importantly, of course, prejudice. "Telephone Conversation," by Wole Soyinka is about racism; more specifically, it is about the way people -- both white and black -- fail to communicate clearly about matters of race.


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