Type: Dramatic Monologue
- Written by Gabriel Okara
- Addressed from a father to his son in a relatively straightforward style
- Father is dismayed by the insincere forms of communication developed
- Wants his son to “unlearn” these false ways
- The poem is about people changing, becoming falser and more untrustworthy; also influence of Western values on African nations
- Repetition of words and phrases to emphasize the point and provides a way of contrasting different forms of an act – for example, laughter and shaking hands
- Direct speech used to highlight contrast – feel at home and come again
- The tone is one of regret – that he learned these false/insincere ways
- Similes – “like a snake’s bare fangs” – showing that he doesn’t like what he sees
- Compound words are with the “face” – “home face, office face” etc. – says he learned many faces and emphasizing the falseness around him
- A theme of the poem is falseness and insincerity
- Reference is made to crime and corruption
- Alliteration contributes to the rhyme
- Doesn’t have a regular rhyme scheme or meter
- Rhythm is created by the repetition of words and phrases
- Alliteration also contributes to the rhythm – “goodbye” and “good riddance”
- Regular sized verse – breaking the narrative sequence
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