African DramaArt and Literature

Plot Summary of the Lion and the Jewel by Prof Wole Soyinka

Plot Summary of Wole Soyinka’s The Lion And The Jewel

The plot Summary of the lion and the jewel of The Lion And The Jewel is presented in two subplots. And like ail Soyinka’s plays, the double sub-plots are paralleled. One sub-plot involves Teacher Lakunle and Sidi (the belle of llujinle Village). The other involves Bale Baroka, Sadiku (Baroka’s first wife) and Sidi.

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The plot Summary of the lion and the Jewel first sub-plot is laid in the “Morning Part”. Here, Sidi is the most beautiful girl (i.e. belle) in llujinle Village. Also, Teacher Lakunle is the most educated fellow around at llujinle. This makes Lakunle to put a wrong view in his head that he deserves to marry Sidi without any attached string. So, Teacher Lakunle proposes his marriage wish to Sidi. Truly, Sidi agrees. But Lakunle has to observe the marriage customs in practice at llujinle. Importantly, she firmly emphasises that Lakunle must pay bride-price to her parents before they can marry.

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However, Teacher Lakunle does not want to pay any bride-price. Before Sidi’s face, he declares that the custom is very bad. To him, the people of llujinle are backward for practising such a custom. From here, Lakunle tries to spin Sidi’s head. He says Sidi deserves to live a civilized life in view of her beauty. Lakunle then promises to provide Sidi with many conveniences. He says Sidi will be using pounding machine for pounding, gas-cooker for cooking, grating machine for grinding pepper and pipe-borne water for bathing, washing and cooking… He also promises to be taking Sidi to night clubs, to dance like Europeans, on weekends. Lakunle had hoped to make Sidi to believe that payment of bride-price is an act of buying a wife, to become a slave to the husband. Sidi is not in anyway convinced by Lakunle’s promises. Her conclusion is that Lakunle must pay bride-price on her, in order to many her.

Lakunle continues to worry Sidi with stories about civilized life. But Sidi maintains her stand on bride-price payment to her parent, for any marriage to take place. At this juncture, three girls, who are Sidi’s friends lead a crowd to the stage. They come to announce the arrival of the stranger from the outside world.” The man has arrived with a magazine containing the pictures he took of sidi, Baroka and the landscape of llujinle Village, on his first trip. Sidi is again informed that Baroka is still looking at the magazine. The girls describe Sidi’s picture in the magazine as very beautiful. Each is larger than the single small picture of Baroka.

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Sidi is very joyful for the information. She quickly considers herself as the most important person at llujinle. What follows? Sidi declares that she no longer wishes to marry Lakunle. Lakunle tries to beg her. And Sidi ignores Lakunle’s pleas. She then suggests to her friends that they should have a mime dance called “The lost Traveller”. Sidi later forces Lakunle to take part in the dance.

The dance is twice staged. The first one is happily done by Lakunle in the company of the four girls selected by Sidi . The four girls mime the movement of the four wheels of a motor-car tyres. And Lakunle acts as the imaginary car owner and driver. At a point near the bush, Lakunle stops the car to come out with the grace of a car-owner. He plans to take photographs. Suddenly he hears a scream from a girl, in the bush. He follows the direction. It is like the girl is naked. As Lakunle hurries to snap the girl’s nude picture, he finds himself flat on ground. The next thing that happened is that he is arrested and pushed to the Village Centre under the odan tree, for Baroka’s trial. Baroka therefore orders a repeat performance of the dance. As Lakunle refuses, Baroka orders his body-guards to beat him up. He is accused as a thief and rapist who plans to dishonour the most beautiful girl of llujinle Village.

Afterwards, Lakunle begins to perform the dance for the second time.
Amidst the performance, Lakunle is seized and forced to prostrate to Baroka. Then, Baroka sympathizes with him. And he is allowed to take all the photograph he desires. Sidi is happy for the performance put up by Lakunle. But Lakunle is not happy. He just leaves the Village Centre in annoyance. Later, Baroka expresses his satisfaction and declares his wish to marry a new wife.

The second sub-plot covers all the scences of the “Noon Part” and the first two scenes of the “Night Part”. Here, Baroka has sent Sadiku his oldest wife to go and woo Sidi for him, as a new wife. When Sadiku really meets Sidi at the Village Centre and gives Baroka’s message, Sidi refuses. Consequently, Sadiku returns to Baroka to feed him back. At first, Baroka is angry. Later, he arrives at a trick. He plans with Sadiku to go and meet Sidi. She is to inform Sidi that Baroka has suddenly become sexually impotent. So, Sidi can go to Baroka’s palace to mock him. As feeble-minded as she is, Sidi too believes Sadiku. And she goes to mock Baroka, in his palace.

At the palace, Baroka first pretends that Sidi is an unwanted visitor. Even, he has so arranged his palace that none of his many wives and servants are around in the palace. Sidi just finds Baroka engaging a wrestler. Foolishly, Sidi is carried away by the wrestling bout. So, she does not suspect Baroka’s trick. She stays until the wrestling match ends. As Baroka wins, he automatically becomes an hero, before Sidi. Consequently, Baroka cashes-in-on Sidi’s simple mind and spins her head. Sidi is eventually trapped and ended up on Baroka’s bed. In the process, her virginity is lost.

The two sub-plots unite in the third scene of “Night Part”. Sidi has childishly lost her virginity. And she is no longer qualified to marry with payment of bride-price to her parents. Lakunle offers to marry her without virginity and without bride-price payment. Sidi rejects and opts to become married to Baroka, for a life of a concubine

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Davidposh of Campusvibes

I'm a dedicated and progressive individual with an exceptional work ethic and client oriented service aptitude. I write to inform and educate. Currently I'm an English language students Lagos State University.

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