Telephone Conversation By Wole Soyinka Essay

Telephone Conversation By Wole Soyinka Essay-47
The impression we get from the landlady tells us that she is a very racist and ignorant woman.

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Then the moment comes when the man has made up his mind to consider the offer.

But right before he declares his interest in renting the place, he mentions to the white lady that he is black.

the black man, and the absurdity of racism that makes the antagonist i.e.

the white landlady, take a negative stance towards the former.

The idea behind “Telephone Conversation” is to depict how brutal and devastating it can be for a man who is subjected to racial discrimination.

Thoughts of racism and preconceived notions come blended with an element of irony. Then, he goes on to answer that his skin color can be pictured as “West African sepia”.

The black-African man is reduced to shame by the sudden silence from the other side and he gets into a state of make-belief when he sarcastically thinks that the lady has broken her silence and has given him the option to define “how dark” he is. The lady, not knowing how dark it could be, does not want to embarrass the man further by resorting to silence. The man replies that it is almost similar to being a brunette, but a dark brunette.

All this while, the man has been holding on to codes of formality which breaks down at the landlady’s insensitivity.

The African man now shouts out loud saying that he is black but he is not that black for anyone to be put to shame.

He also says that the soles of his feet and the palms of his hand are all white, but he is a fool to sit on his rear as a result of which it has turned black due to friction.


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