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Comparing Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is West Indian and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka

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Comparing Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is West Indian and Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka
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The poems I have studied are 'Sonny's Lettah' by Linton Kwesi Johnson
who is West Indian and 'Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka. The
theme of both of the poems is based on racism. The language used in
both of the poems is Standard English, dialect, onomatopoeia and
symbolic.

Johnson's poem is about a man writing a letter to his mother to inform
her about the racist attack on his brother and himself. He describes
how they ended up in prison.

Telephone conversation is about a West African, who finds it difficult
to find a house for rent. While he is trying to talk to a landlady to
rent her house, over the telephone, finds that the conversation
changes to his background and colour, which is effectively racism.

Both poems are based on racism but different kind of racism. In
Sonny's Lettah it is an open physion only Standard English is used
because it is a conversation between two people.

In Sonny's Lettah after the first stanza the language changes into
phonetic. Phonetic language is written as it sounds. The use of
phonetic language indicates the change in Sonny's emotions and also
when he is angry. There are many examples for:

"Sey", "mi" and "likkl"

Both of the poems make use symbolism. For example in Sonny's Lettah:

"bin" and " baton"

The use of "bin" symbolises the waste of human life. The word
"carrying baton" symbolizes that the police was carrying the batons in
their ha...


... middle of paper ...


...re destroyed.
The policeman suspected of racist attack, Sonny the victim says:

"an crash an dead" and "charge mi fi murder"

The example "an crash an dead" shows that the suspect who created the
fight died and he probably had wife and children and they will now
have no man to bring the money in the house and protect them.

Both of the poems used symbolic and standard language, rhythm and
repetition. Also the theme for both of the poems is the same which is
racism. One is physical and the other one is verbal racism.

I prefer poem number one, which is Sonny's Lettah because the various
techniques used by the writer, for example: onomatopoeia, repetition
and rhythm. I like this poem because the way the writer shows rhythm
of the fight. Also the language makes it more interesting and
challenging to understand it.


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