The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka Essay

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The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

The three main characters in ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ are called Sidi,
Lakunle and Baroka the Bale. Each character has different thoughts
about one another and each views the society in a different way. This
essay introduces and describes each character and analyses their role
in the play.

Sidi
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Sidi is the first character that the audience meets. She is a very
attractive woman, known as the village ‘belle’. Her attractiveness
influences her personality, by making her quite vain. An example of
her vanity is when she receives photos through of her that featured in
a global magazine, taken by a western man. The photographs, also
affect Sidi’s perception of Baroka, by making her
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Naturally Sidi is entranced by this thought and complies
with him. Baroka knows that Sidi likes to be told how beautiful she
is, and if he could harness this desire, then seducing her would
become much easier. After he manages to seduce her, Sidi feels tricked
and disgusted and does not want anything to do with the Bale either.
She does however know that because she has slept with the Bale, she is
no longer a virgin and therefore stays with Baroka as his latest
addition to his wives. Sidi also decides to stay with the Bale, due to
tradition, which she strongly believes in i.e. the Bale has the
‘Belle’ or in this case the ‘Lion’ has the ‘Jewel’.

Lakunle
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Lakunle is classified as a ‘stranger’ to the village because of his
western ideas. This is also reflected in the dance that occurs just
before ‘noon’. Lakunle is a schoolteacher in the village, which is
already a sign that his western ideas are slowly trying to creep them
into the village, by educating his students in a way that a westerner
would.

His ideas are quite opposite to those of Sidi. Lakunle is more into
change whereas Sidi is more conservative and tends to stick to
tradition. To show Lakunle’s western ideas, he mentions ‘breakable
plates’, which probably had been mentioned before in the village. Also
when Lakunle proposes to Sidi, he is quoting…

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