Kiara And Simba's Pride In West Side Story By Arthur Laurents

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The novel West Side Story by Arthur Laurents is a literary interpretation of the musical by the same name. It follows the musical fairly closely, sticking to the same storyline and similar dialogues. In the story, two rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets only seem to have one thing in common; their hatred for each other. Even with this, Maria, little sister to the leader of the Sharks, and Tony, a former member of the Jets, fall in love. There are many reimaginings of this book, but one movie in particular best interprets the movie’s plot and core values. The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride follows two rival prides, the Outsiders and Simba’s pride. These two prides, set apart by hate, are home to two lions fated to fall in love: Kiara and Kovu. …show more content…
In West Side Story, Tony falls in love with Maria but they are kept apart by their affiliation with two rival groups. Likewise, Kovu falls in love with Kiara but they are kept apart by the same reasoning. Even with this obstacle, they find a way to be together. Eventually, after the Sharks’ minds are set that Tony is just a murderer and exactly what they expected coming from the rival gang. Tony is forced to go into hiding and ends up visiting Maria, where they talked about running away together. Tony tells Maria that, “If you’ll go away with me, I’ll wait there” so they can meet up at Doc’s to run away together (Laurents 148). In the same manner, Simba and the Pride all see Kovu as a murderer, just like what they expected to come from the Outlands. Kovu is banished from the Pridelands and isn’t allowed back into his home, so he goes into hiding. While he is in hiding, Kiara meets with him and he suggests they run away together. Neither of the couples do, they rather have to face the problem that kept them apart. Because of these similar plot points, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is a good interpretation of West Side …show more content…
The primary themes surrounding West Side Story are that of loyalty and racism. Even when Baby John, a member of the Jets, realized that “if he ever succeeded in becoming as hard a character as Riff or Bernardo, he only had four years to live, maybe five” and yet he still chose to stick with the Jets (Laurents 137). Each member of the Jets are like this, as are the Sharks. It’s obvious that Simba and his pride are loyal to the Pridelands, while the Outsiders are loyal to their group in the Outlands. These lions would fight and die for what they believed in, much like the two gangs are in West Side Story. Another theme is racism. The Jets were an all white gang that hated the fact that Puerto Ricans were living in their country. Similarly, Simba’s Pride refuses to let the Outsiders into their pride, feeling like they all were murderers and criminals that you can’t trust although many of them hadn’t done anything worthy of that judgement. These matching themes between the two prove that The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is the best interpretation of West Side Story.
In summary, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and West Side Story share many similarities. Kiara and Kovu’s characterizations directly translate to Maria and Tony, their setting with the two rival prides are comparable to the two rival gangs, and the plot of the stories are the same. Along

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