Summary of Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

Telephone Conversation Summary

Higher National Diploma in English – 2nd Year 1st Semester

telephone conversation by wole soyinkaTelephone Conversation Summary. In the summary of Telephone conversation by Wole Soyinka, the poet talks about two people on
the phone and therefore the refore the story goes on to narrate how the African man is trying to find a house and the land lady has proposed a substantial price for an equivalent . The poem strikes a positive note because the man gets to understand that his privacy won‘t be hampered because the landlady doesn‘t stay the premises. The African man is happy to understand that and just before he makes up his mind to think about the offer, he drops in to say that he’s black.

Telephone Conversation Summary, On the other end of the line, there was nothing but silence which the African man takes it to be an impolite gesture of refusal. However, the silence is soon broken as the landlady starts to speak again asking him to explain exactly how dark he is. First, the man think that he might have misheard the question but when the landlady repeats, he understands that this is something very important for her to know before she allows him to rent her house. This is something that came out entirely devastating for the African man and for a moment he felt disgusted with the question and fancies himself to be a machine, like the phone and that he has been reduced to being a button on the phone. He could also smell the foul from her words and he sees ―red‘ everywhere all around.

The idea of Telephone conversation is to depict how brutal it are often for a person who is subjected to racism . Thoughts of racism and pre-notions come blended with a component of irony that takes over the theme of the poem.

The Afro-American man is reduced to shame by the sudden silence from the other side and he gets into a state of make belief where he sarcastically thinks that the lady broke her silence and gave him option to choose and define ‗how dark‖ he is. ―Like chocolate, or dark or light?‖ Then, he goes on to answer that he is defined as ―West African sepia‖ in his passport. The lady not knowing how dark it could be didn‘t want to embarrass the man further by resorting to silence.

So, she asks him to define what he means. the person replies, that it’s almost almost like being a brunette but a dark brunette. All this while, the person has been holding on to codes of ritual which breaks loose at the landlady‘s in-sensitiveness.

Telephone Conversation Summary, The African man now shouts aloud saying that he’s black but he’s not that black for anyone to be put to shame. He also says that the soles of his feet and therefore the palms of his hand are all white but he’s a fool that he sits on his rear which has turned black thanks to friction. He knows that the landlady will never be convinced together with his black complexion and he senses that she might slam down the receiver on him. At such an important juncture, he makes a desperate and silly plan to plead her to return and take an honest check out him but couldn‘t help things from getting worse. Finally, the landlady slams down the receiver on his face.

Telephone Conversation Poem

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