Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

SYNOPSIS ON
THE LION AND THE JEWEL
As facilitated by:

VISION ACHIEVERS STUDENTS ACADEMIC FORUM

(Proudly Visionites)
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka is a play that submits a spirited and ribald account of African village life; reveals the conflicts between traditional and modern values; and the power of men against the influence of women. It throws open the fundamental contrasts between African traditions and the core western values. Two characters represent these conflicting philosophies. Lakunle, an exposed young man with European education, who teaches in the village of Ilujinle, represents the modern western culture, while Baroka, the Baale of the Ilujinle village represents the core African tradition. The play deals with such traditional values as bride price and the dignity of womans virginity. It also recounts precisely the requirements for marriage in such a society, as opposed to Western ideas. The play simply goes to show that the Lion could always have the power to bend the Jewel to its wish. Baroka is depicted as the Lion in the play, while Sidi, the village belle is the Jewel. Lakunle, the village teacher, is in love with Sidi, so also is Baroka. Lakunle thought he could employ the finesse and advantage of his western experience to entice Sidi, while Baroka, the smart old bale of the village, with many wives already, wants to as a matter of culture, make Sidi his last wife. Sidi, only eighteen, as a result of the proposals from Baroka and Lakunle, became the center of emotional discordant between these two men. Always, Lakunle convinces Sidi, advising her against selling her angelic beauty to an old local chieftain, only to end up as one of the many wives, when she could be the only wife

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

to a western Lakunle. Lakunle had several differences with the traditions and culture Sidi used to know. Meanwhile Baroka still adopted the traditional style to woo her. One of the bases for the arguments between Lakunle and Sidi is the payment of bride price, which Lakunle considers outdated and ridiculous. Infarct, Lakunles western ways such as eating with a fork and wearing knickers and socks have made him the laughing stock of the village, it was strange in the village after all. Lakunle constantly waylays Sidi and attempts to impress her with his knowledge of white-men and big cities. Sidi is unmoved by such entreaties. She remains unimpressed and is as conservative as she was brought up to be. When Lakunle attempts showing love and interest of affection by trying to help her carry her pail of water, she ridicules him for continuously acting as the village fool, she carries the mentality that women should do such domestic works. She does not care whether the women in big cities walk arm in arm beside their men, or that Lakunle would give her an opportunity at such a life. She tells him bluntly that if he wants to marry her he should work hard and pay her bride price. She even considers his job as a teacher a loafers lot and wonders aloud why he cannot harvest big yams like other men. She is not averse to Lakunles intentions, but insists he must pay her 'bride price' to maintain her reputation. Lakunle however as a modernist, has been to Lagos and is filled with modern ideas, and consequently he is reluctant to fall in line with what he sees as an archaic tradition. Lakunle condemns the bride price as an insult to womanhood, construed as paying certain money in exchange for a Nightingale. To Sidi Lakunle is just too lazy to raise enough money for her bride price. To Barokas side, a photographer had visited the village sometime earlier and taken photographs of the people. He returns to deliver a copy of the magazine in which the photographs appear. Photographs of Sidi have pride of place, on the cover and centrespread, while Baroka has only a small corner inside. Sidi realizes the power of her beauty, placing her above even the leader of her people. In a relevant development, a conflict of interest showed up when a road was to be constructed in the village. Lakunle was of the opinion that the construction should have some modern touches, designing a pattern from his modern experience. However, Baroka had his way in the construction affair at the end of the tunnel. Tradition, as represented by Baroka won there against the western idea advocated by Lakunle.

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

Now on the path of marrying Sidi, Baroka was once a powerful warrior known as 'the Lion'. He has lived a long life and collected many concubines. Now he wants to add Sidi to his harem. He is ready to pay the Bride price and respect tradition. Sidi is not interested since he is an old man, and with the arrogance of youth, she rudely rebukes his advances. But Baroka is a wily old fox, not so easily brushed aside. He has determined to have Sidi, and hatches a plan to seduce her. Sadiku is the head wife of Baroka. Baroka devised her as the cats paw; she runs the tactics for Baroka. Sadiku wooed Sidi. She attracted her by deceiving that Baroka was impotent, feigning that Sidi would enjoy Barokas affluence in the village without being manly browsed by Baroka. She invited Sidi to the palace to confirm that Baroka was impotent. Sidi fell for the instrument and Baroka took advantage as Sidi joined Baroka in his room, thinking she would merely play and go, as Sadiku had convinced her. Baroka seduces her, clicks on her homepage and Scours the entire articles on her Google. Lakunle hears the story as it had its rounds across the village and seeks Sidi for confirmation. Expecting her to be sad and full of regrets, he professes he still loves her and would still marry her. Sidi laughs and informs him that even at his 60s, the Baale is more a man than him, and that Lakunle can never satisfy her the way the Baale can, especially in the issues of tradition. Again, in a race to get Sidi as trophy, Baroka, representing tradition has won, leaving Lakunle at loss. Thus ended Lakunle's expectation for a bride-price free marriage! It goes with the saying: no marriage for lazy man. Lakunle was an African trying to use Europeaness as an excuse to skip tradition. The result was fatal, as the woman he loved preferred her traditional values to love. It was a triumph of action over love; of African tradition over western values. CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY Baroka: The Bale of Ilujinle, the Lion in the title of the play. This village chief is sixty-two years old, very proud, deceptive, and cunning. His attempt to win the village belle, Sidi, through deception is the central focus of the play. The Bale manipulates the other characters by feigning sexual impotence. Sidi: The village belle, about eighteen years old, very pretty and coquettish. She distracts the young schoolteacher, Lakunle, attracts a traveling photographer who wants her

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

picture to be in a magazine, and passively flirts with the Bale, unaware of the Bales vast experience in romance. Sidi is tricked into making love with the Bale at the end of the comedy. Lakunle: A young, modern and stylishly dressed liberal. He is in fact a conservative who pretends to be interested in social revolution; his real concern is for Sidi or any other available young woman in the village. Lakunles supposed platonic love for Sidi is no match for the Bales cunning experience, and Lakunle proves to be a poor adversary. Sadiku: The primary wife of the Baale. One of her principal jobs is to woo younger wives for the Bale. She convinces Sidi that the young woman should marry the Baale by telling her that the Baale is old and that Sidi will have the honor of being the new senior wife of the Bale. The favorite: The Bales present young woman. She tries to please him, but she is informed by the Baale that she has no time to improve her affection because he is taking a new wife. She represents another conquest by the Baale. The surveyor: An outsider who is planning to build a road through the village. He is easily bought off by the Baale, who offers gifts if he will build the road in another place, thus preserving the land and the traditions of his people. THE PLOT (The arrangement of the incidents in the play) The plot of the play is climatic in development. It employs a device known as play in a play to show a related story to the development between the playing lovers. THE SETTING The place background is a typical African village, a Yoruba village to be precise (Ilujinle). The Baales palace, Sidi tying wrapper, with the side view of the bushes and clay molded houses. The time is of the pre-technology, agrarian time suggestive of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

THEMES IN THE PLAY Theme of conflicting Traditional and Modern values: the central theme in the play is the contrast between the typical African and the core western values. It was apparent from the views and practices of Lakunle, who represented the western way of life. The clash between payment of bride price and the objection raised by Lakunle, referring to it as ridiculous custom, typified the conflict between African tradition and the western culture. Another development in the story that reflected conflict between African tradition and western values is the wrestling of ideas and views of Lakunle in the pattern of Road construction while the village of Ilujinle was to have a carriageway, Lakunles modern ideas failed against that of Baroka. Virility Vs impotence: The play reveals among other things, the necessity of a man to be strong, and ruling out impotence. A man who could afford the bride price and is evidently strong is seen as virile, while the counterpart is seen as impotent. It goes to show that the virile wins against the impotent. Virginity and its pride: the pride, joy and confidence given one by her virginity are exhibited in the play, The Lion and the Jewel. Sidis virginity earned her the pride to become the effigy of emotional battle between two icons, one representing Tradition and the other standing for the western gospel. The village belle could demand bride price because she would love to be announced to the world with her pride. It is believed that bride price must be paid if the woman still has her virgin-label. That explains why Sidi contends that her bride price must be paid by Lakunle because it would show the world that she stills has her label. The significance of Bride price in marriage: in the play, the importance of paying bride price was revealed by Sidi. The bride price is paid so that the man acquires the woman responsibly. Also, it indicates that the man is capable of taking care of the woman and can also raise their children responsibly. Bride price is also significant as it shows that the woman is complete when met by the man. It equally reveals that the man is working and has earnings, because it is believed

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Synopsis on The Lion and the Jewel> By Segun O Law

that a lazy man cannot pay the bride price. Finally, the bride price adds respect to the union.

Warning: Please, do not take any of VISIONITES materials into the Exams hall. It is prohibited, and you would be arrested if you attempt it. Our materials are only meant to be read before going into the Exams hall. If you take this material into the hall, you do so at your own risk. BEST OF LUCK!

VISION ACHIEVERS FORUM PROUDLY VISIONITES: *Motivations*Empowerments*Tutorials*Youths/Students affairs** Join Free : www.forum.visionitesmagazine.com

Verwandte Interessen