After enjoying the analyses of Passed Like a Shadow, Unanswered Cries
, and The Black Hermit
now here is Full Analysis of 'The Lion and the Jewel for FREE!.
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ANALYSIS OF THE LION AND THE JEWEL
The play is about a westernised school teacher who wants to marry a beautiful village girl. The school teacher is determined to get her without paying traditional bride-price, but a girl refuses to his plan and she demands that he should pay bride-price if he really wants to marry her. Because of the beauty and popularity of this girl, the school teacher realises that he is in race with other men to get her. Due to traditional bounds, school teacher’s strict westernised rules, and one old man’s treachery, the beautiful village girl falls into the arms of the old man known as Baroka. Then, the central theme of this play is the clash between two cultures or generations: Young generation and old generation. The polygamous and powerful leader of the village, Baroka (The Lion) and the young and westernized teacher, Lakunle, are battling fiercely to win the love of the beautiful village girl, Sidi (The Jewel). The play focuses on how the Lion (Baroka) hunts the Jewel (Sidi) and this idea is conveyed in the form of comedy. The play also conveys rich folk materials with the impact on modern tribal customs.
The title. The title of the play has been used by the playwright to reflect and symbolize the contents of the play. It is symbolic in which the Lion (Baroka) fights to win the love of the Jewel (Sidi). Hence, the playwright has successfully employed the title that reflects the contents of the play. Sidi says; “I am the twinkle of a jewel. But he is the hind-squarters of a lion” (pg. 25).
The setting. The play is set in the Yoruba village of Ilujinle in Nigeria. The events and actions of this setting are the reflective on various contexts which have the issues explored in the play. For example, in our societies there are contexts in which the events portrayed in this play are also relevant.
The plot. This is the arrangement or series of events in a work of art. The organization and the structure of the play deviate from usual division of plays. The usual division of plays involves acts and scenes but this play ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ has been divided into three sections. Each section has its name. These names of sections reflect and correspond with the development of the play’s plot that illustrates the events in a single day.
MORNING (Pages 1-18)
Lakunle is at school when Sidi enters with a bail of water on her head. Lakunle, seeing Sidi, he stops teaching and comes out of the class to meet Sidi. He wants to help her to carry the bail of water but Sidi refuses. When Lakunle forces to help her, some water splashes over him. Sidi claims that that’s what he wants because he is obstinate. In this section, Lakunle as one who has Western education has the desire to modernise his village. He explains to Sidi that he wants to marry her without paying bride-price because the bride-price is unnecessary or old-fashioned African tradition among other things. He insists that he doesn’t want to ‘buy her like a goat’ and use her like a bought object in his house. He wants her to be free and equal to him. But Sidi refuses and insists that Lakunle should pay bride-price if he wants to marry her. He tries to kiss her but she refuses. Later, a group of villagers come and tell Sidi that the Stranger who took her photographs has come. In the group, there are drummers and dancers who have accompanied the group. They dance. This dance involves Sidi and Lakunle as well as. As the dance goes on, Baroka and his men (wrestlers) come. Baroka orders them to stop and go away.
The Stranger is the one who has exposed Sidi’s beauty by taking her photos to town and print them. These pictures have made Sidi the most popular person in the town and in the whole of Ilujinile Village. These Sidi’s elaborate photos make her popular and she tells Lakunle that he won’t marry her now because she is famous.
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