Wole Sovinka's tone in "Telephone Conversation" Through a phone discussion with a landlady, the poet expressed his emotions about racism. The poem's tone was sarcastic and lighthearted. It would be easy for the reader to understand why the landlady thought that the poet was trying to abuse her.
Here are the opening lines: "Hello, is this the landlady?" / "Yes, who's this?" / "This is Wole Sovinka." / "Well, Mr. Sovinka, I don't think you should talk like that on the phone." / "Why not? It's no crime to speak English." / "I'm sorry, but it is in this country." / "Then I'll stop speaking it." / With that, she hung up on him.
He tried again later that day. This time he got through to her. He spoke freely, expressing his opinion about race relations in America. The landlady agreed with him and they had a good conversation. At the end of the call, she said, "Have a good night," and he replied, "You too."
The poem has a very sarcastic tone. It seems as though the poet is talking to someone who is completely out of touch with reality.
Racism is the central subject of "Telephone Conversation." In the poem, a black guy attempts to finalize a housing agreement over the phone with a landlady. He wants to tell the landlady he's black, and a crazy debate develops over how dark his complexion is. This debate leads up to the moment when he could have ended the discussion by saying, "Thanks, but no thanks," but instead he tells her that she should not rent to white people either.
This may seem like a trivial matter today, but in 1947 this debate was unusual for its time. It's interesting to note that even though most blacks at that time were disenfranchised, many still felt comfortable expressing their opinions in public.
Furthermore, "Telephone Conversation" makes it clear that telling someone you're black doesn't guarantee that you'll be treated equally by law enforcement officers or neighbors. If anything, it can lead to abuse - as this man finds out later when he tries to report a crime against him. However, despite these dangers, the man decides that it's worth the risk because he believes that whites are responsible for most of the racism in the country.
In conclusion, this poem teaches us that even if you try to be honest and open about your race, there are still going to be people out there who will use that information against you.
Wole Soyinka's poem "Telephone Conversation," written in the first person narrative point of view, is a literary satire on the widespread racism in current Western culture. The poem also serves as a testimonial to the power of communication through technology.
The poem begins with a description of a modern-day phone booth, which is then used by an African king to talk with his people. The king complains about the quality of phones available in Africa at that time, and goes on to say that if he could afford one, he would buy a gold phone because these are better for communicating over long distances.
He concludes his rant by saying that he can still hear people talking even though they are not on the same side of the world, meaning that technology has not only allowed him to communicate with others but also taught him that no matter how far away people are, they can always be reached by phone. This leads him to ask his audience what point of view they are using to talk with him now, to which they respond that they are using the third-person point of view.
In conclusion, the king learns that although people may be physically distant from each other, they are not mentally separated, meaning that racism has been eliminated through communication.