Analysis of ' Telephone Conversation'

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The poem ‘Telephone Conversation’ is written by Wole Soyinka, who is Nigerian by origin. In the poem, the poet shows a telephone conversation between an African who is in search of a house and his landlady. The poet thus briefly explains the treatment of the African people in European countries, especially England, where the so-called ‘superior’ white people, suggesting the theme of racialism. This poem takes place in London as it is evident from the poem about the presence of a red booth, red pillar box & a red double tiered bus. The main characters in the poem include an African (assumed to be the poet) and the landlady, from whom the poet wishes to rent a room from in London. The scene seems to be taken at a time when the world was reaching its modern age after the World War II. The poem is structured into a single paragraph and it also seems to be an actual telephone conversation rather than any other poem since there is a lacking of a fixed format for this poem and it sounds more like a recitation. The poet is sarcastic in his approach to the poem, yet a lot is revealed in a few particular usage of his vocabulary. Self-confessed as he thought, he meant to say as if he were guilty of being black in color and now he admits confession, still highlighting the situation actually present during those times where racialism was prominent. The lady when hears this fact of the new tenant being African, maintains her silence of ‘pressurized good-breeding’, showing that she was one them riches and sophisticated britishers belonging to the high class society. The character of landlady in this poem completely symbolizes the behavior of the elite class of the society during post-war period. The lady in general finds black people intriguing and thus dislikes them. She heard over the telephone to be piping her gold-rolled cigarette and even maintains a moment pause after ‘disaster’ over the telephone line struck her, hence proving her position in the high society. She...
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