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Racism in Cullen’s Incident and Soyinka’s Telephone Conversation

Racism in Cullen’s Incident and Soyinka’s Telephone Conversation

The poem “Incident,” by Countee Cullen, deals with the effect racism has on a young black child vacationing in Baltimore. The child is mistreated by a white child and disturbed in his innocence so much that after spending seven months in Baltimore, this is all he remembers. A different poem, “Telephone Conversation, ” by Wole Soyinka, also deals with this issue, but from a different perspective. In this poem a man is trying to rent an apartment but the owner of the complex doesn’t want him to move in because he is African. She asks him “How dark? Are you light / Or very dark?. ” Each black person in their respective poems deals with the prejudice in the best way they know how. The way they handle it shines a light on the strength and wisdom gained, while casting a negative light on the ignorance broadcast from the racist people.

In America at the time “Incident” takes place, people were very much againstthe black population. This was also the case in England where “Telephone Conversation takes place, only not as much so. The white child in Incident has obviously been taught to hate or look down on this race of people. He will probably grow up to be as closed-minded and ignorant as the woman in “Telephone Conversation.” It is probable that the woman in “Telephone Conversation” was taught this from her youth as well, although the poem doesn t specify this. It is also possible that it is a decision she made on her own. She is older, however, and should know better. The black man in …

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…e and identity insulted is a horrible thing, but to be able to stand strong inside yourself and know who you are is true strength and displays a sense of true wisdom. Though the young boy in “Incident” couldn’t realize this at his young age, it can be assumed that he eventually did and became confident enough to write about it. These two poems show a chronology of strength and wisdom gained from the black child through the black man, and also a chronology of ignorance and racism gained from the white child through the white woman. These poems fit together greatly and each intends to send the same message, only from different perspectives. A great message about strength in one’s own identity can be gained from reading each individually, but if you read them together you can really see the importance of the message intended.

Julius Caesar Essay: Mark Antony as the Genius of Julius Caesar

Mark Antony as the Genius of Julius Caesar

Mark Antony – the guy is a genius. He gives the most powerful and emotional speech ever conjured up by a human mind. He gets this powerful emotion from the pain of the loss of his friend, Julius Caesar. In Shakespeare’s play about the ill-fated Roman ruler, a band of conspirators plot to kill Julius Caesar. They succeed in doing so, and Caesar’s best friend Antony is infuriated. However, he manages to keep his cool, until he is allowed to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Brutus, the leader of the conspiracy, attempts to win the popularity and support of the crowd, and he does so with a speech full of glittering generalities. His speech sounded good, but really meant nothing. The people favor Brutus until Antony takes the stand and delivers the cold hard facts, turning the mob of people into an angry stampede. The persuasive techniques that were used by Antony helped him to gain the crowd’s support. If he did not use these techniques, Antony would simply be carried off the stage and thrown into the mob. The techniques that he used (to make his speech persuade the mob to help him) were: the fact that he acknowledged the opposing argument, his slowly rising emotional expression, and the use of a simple refrain that gets more and more sarcastic each time around.

Antony must acknowledge the opposing argument, because it helps him to show the crowd that he does not have a selfish or one-tracked mind. “The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it would be a grievous fault.” (Act III, Scene ii, 79-81) Although the crowd knows it, Antony says that Brutus said that Caesar was ambitious. Why? Antony restates what Brutus said to make a very p…

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… Antony has just made a complete fool of Brutus. Again, only one small detail changed in the refrain to produce the sarcasm – the “and sure.” It is hard to believe that only changing a few little words can cause that much of an impact on a speech.

Through the use of these three persuasive techniques, Mark Antony succeeds in winning the support of the entire mob. By acknowledging the opposing argument, slowly letting his emotions take over, and using a “simple” refrain, Antony delivers the perfect crowd-manipulating oration. Antony knows the psychology of persuasion, and he shows it when he gives the speech. The qualities of a persuasive speech, to speak of Antony’s methods, are not obvious at all. They come slowly, and that is the way to get a crowd in your hands.

Works Cited:

Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. New York: Simon, 1975.

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