Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

Essay's Score: C

Grammar mistakes

B (82%)


B (84%)

Redundant words

B (87%)


F (46%)

Table of Content

Wole Soyinka illustrates the disparities between two individuals: the speaker and the landlady of the apartment he is attempting to lease. Humanity possesses the ability to acknowledge these distinctions, and Soyinka utilizes the landlady’s racism to highlight her lack of understanding of the matter. We acknowledge disparities between genders, ages, races, but never emphasize them excessively to provoke conflict. The main conflict in this narrative lies between the caller, the protagonist, and the property owner, the antagonist.

The primary contrast between the individuals in the poem lies in their race, which serves as a dividing factor. Soyinka delves deeper into this aspect by highlighting how the caller, who identifies as African American, feels compelled to confess as though he has committed an offense. Initially, the telephone conversation revolves around the potential rental of an apartment, but it shifts its focus to the caller’s race. Instead of addressing matters such as price, location, amenities, and other pertinent information related to the apartment, the discussion centers around the speaker’s skin color.

In addition to differences in class, race, gender, and ideology, there are various dividing lines between the two individuals. Wole Soyinka demonstrates the intellectual disparity between them through the speaker’s use of sophisticated language, revealing his education. Despite facing discrimination from the landlady due to his African heritage, the speaker remains highly educated, while the landlady appears ignorant.

The speaker’s vocabulary is not typical of an intimidating man, as evidenced by his use of terms like “pipped,” “rancid,” and “spectroscopic” (9, 12, 23). His intelligence is further demonstrated through the incorporation of sarcasm and wit in his responses to the landlady’s inquiries. Throughout the conversation, he maintains a polite facade while subtly conveying underlying meanings. The irony of a black man outsmarting a white woman highlights the unjust practice of judging individuals based on their skin color. This contrast further emphasizes the speaker’s dissimilarity to the landlady.

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Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka. (2017, Apr 03). Retrieved from

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