Raical prejudice comparison in the poems 'Strange Fruit' and 'Telephone conversation'

Essay by paul smithC+, January 1997

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The two poems that I am going to compare are 'Strange Fruit' and 'Telephone conversation' which both feature racial prejudice.

The first of the two poems that I will study is 'Strange Fruit'. This is a very simple and meaningful poem. The author of this poem is writing about what was happening to the black people of the southern states of America. It shows exactly what happens to them when captured which brings in some strong sentences

'And the sudden smell of burning flesh'

I think that the most effective words of the poem are in the title because you have to read the whole of the poem to understand what it means.

Lewis Allen the author tries to put the point across by making it different from the usual news reports and broadcasts. He does this by comparing it to the natural land and emphasising how bad it is

'Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,

And the sudden smell of burning flesh'

The poem itself has rhyming couplets in every two sentences just like a simple poem.

The title suggests that the fruit is the unnatural black body hanging from the tree which hangs like a fruit. This image makes it a metaphor to give the whole poem an effect.

The authors intention is to make people understand exactly what is going on. He also tries to make us feel guilty as we are the murderers because we are white.

The poem 'Telephone conversation' is staged by a black man who is looking for a flat but ends up phoning to a landlady who is racist but tries to be polite in finding out whether he is he is a dark or light one.

When he first speaks to her he feels awkward as he feels...