Anger follows and this is shown by the repetition of the colour red and the use of short sentences “Red booth. Red pillar-box. Red double-tiered omnibus squelching tar.” The connotations of the colour red whilst describing typical features of London convey the reality of the environment, which at the moment is anger. The word “squelching,” is onomatopoeic as it represents the sound made. Sibilance is used in the next sentence to highlight how the landlady was “dumbfounded.” A lot of tension has built up by this stage of the poem just like in “You will be hearing from us shortly,” but Soyinka tries to let it all go as he adds comedy via a simile “You mean-like plain or milk chocolate?” However, this comment receives no emotion, laughter or sense of human connection as the landlady clinically crushes this light mood with her “impersonality.”Order now
The African explains he is ‘West African sepia.’ Sibilance is again used, as is a change in the landlady’s accent to extenuate how uneducated she is in comparison to him. This is the reverse of “You will be hearing from us shortly,” as the panel seem to be more educated than the candidate. The landlady confesses her ignorance just in time for the potential tenant to loose his patience and change his tone from being polite to flippant, just like the tone gradually changes in “You will be hearing from us shortly.” The African now has a mocking, condescending and supercilious tone as his boorish sense of humor is conveyed by the use of hyphens.
There is a huge contrast between the final speech and the rest of the poem. The final speech is full of anger as a strong personality exerts itself. However, the rest of the poem is passive, honest and inquiring in tone. The ellipses emphasize the boordy of the final speech. The description in lines 7-9 creates a good initial impression of a stereotype of the Africans assumptions of a classy, rich, middle-aged lady. “Lipstick coated,” gives us an idea that the lady wears maybe too much make-up but cares about her personal appearance and “Long gold-rolled cigarette holder,” tells us that although rich the lady seems to be very down to Earth. Nevertheless as her accent breaks and her racism and lack of general knowledge persists we see her as the ignorant and false person she is.
As the poem is told from his point of view we are given a very good impression of the potential tenant. When he is given the choice “Button B. Button A,” instead of choosing to let his anger out, he stays patient until he cannot take it anymore. Yet, he does not insult the landlady when angry but only defends himself assertively. To conclude both poems have an awful lot in common. Both poets have produced extremely good poems, which teach the reader about the possibilities of certain situations in life. Both deal with prejudiced attitudes through the language and tone of the three speakers and expose them to be ignorant. Both poems use a sense of progression to create a colossal climax. In both poems the prejudiced people have preconceptions, which they stick to, which shows us the importance of first impressions.