Questions on 'Telephone Conversation' by Wole Soyinka?
- How does the humour in the poem help the reader to explore the poem's themes?
- Why does the poem concentrate so much on different shades of colour?
However, I'm really stuck on what to write on these two points. Can anyone give me any help, hints, or pointers in the right direction?
Also, the first question I had to answer was:
- To what extent do you feel that Soyinka comes across as bitter in the poem? Why?
This is what I wrote:
At the time of the experience, the narrator seems bitter toward the prejudiced British society, who treat him as a criminal and an outcast although he has done nothing wrong. He experiences 'dumbfoundment' when the woman turns him down on the basis of the colour of his skin. However, looking back on the event, he seems rather amused and uses a lot of humour and irony in the poem. He can now see that although he was looked down on for his external appearance, the woman - who was of a so-called higher class - was the one who was actually intellectually deficient. We can see this because she does not understand what 'sepia' and 'brunette' mean.
What do you think of my answer? I'm just interested to hear others' opinions, because I am pretty much teaching myself for my IGCSE English Literature exam. I know it's mainly a matter of how the poem comes across to the individual reader, but I would like to know if I'm completely wrong...!
Thanks in advance for any answers!