The Lion and the Jewel Summary The play\u00a0is about\u00a0within the\u00a0village of Ilunjinle, Nigeria. Sidi,\u00a0a gorgeous\u00a0girl\u00a0also\u00a0referred to as\u00a0\u201cThe Jewel," carries her pail of water past\u00a0the varsity\u00a0where Lakunle, the schoolteacher and a village outsider with modern ideas, works. He approaches her and chastises her for carrying her water on her head and stunting her shoulders; she is unfazed. Lakunle loves Sidi\u00a0and needs\u00a0to marry her, but he refuses to pay her bride-price because he considers it an archaic tradition. Sidi\u00a0doesn't\u00a0love Lakunle; she finds him and his ideas about making her\u00a0a contemporary, Western bride obnoxious. However, she plans to marry him if he\u00a0pays\u00a0the worth\u00a0because the\u00a0village traditions necessitate. While Sidi and Lakunle are talking, several young women run up to Sidi and tell her that the stranger\u2014a photographer who visited the village\u00a0a while\u00a0ago\u2014is back,\u00a0which\u00a0he brought with him the magazine that contained within it pictures of the village and villagers. Sidi occupies a central space and is stunningly beautiful. Lakunle is dismayed\u00a0to listen to\u00a0this, but Sidi glows\u00a0proudly. Sidi suggests the villagers act out and dance to the story of the stranger. She pushes Lakunle to participate and act\u00a0because of the\u00a0stranger,\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0performance commences. The drummers and singers and actors play out the arrival of the stranger and his camera. Lakunle gets into the spirit of the performance.\u00a0because it\u00a0goes on, the Bale (i.e. head) of the village, Baroka\u2014a.k.a. \u201cthe Lion"\u2014arrives. He plays the role of the chief. Later that day he stares at\u00a0the photographs\u00a0of Sidi and muses that he has not taken a wife a few\u00a0times. Sadiku, Baroka\u2019s senior wife and head of the harem, finds Sidi and tells her that Baroka wants\u00a0to require\u00a0her for a wife. She paints this as\u00a0a fantastic\u00a0honor, but Sidi laughs that Baroka is old. She glories in her photographs and says Baroka only wants her because she is so famous and has brought\u00a0such a lot of\u00a0honor to the village. Lakunle, who is jealously listening, excoriates Baroka as being against progress and modernity. Sadiku returns to Baroka\u00a0and provides\u00a0him Sidi\u2019s reply.\u00a0he's\u00a0calm\u00a0initially\u00a0but becomes distressed when she tells him Sidi said\u00a0he's\u00a0old. He bemoans\u00a0the very fact\u00a0that\u00a0he's\u00a0not\u00a0virile, and tries\u00a0to require\u00a0comfort\u00a0within the\u00a0elderly Sadiku\u2019s gentle touch. Sidi is standing and admiring her photos near the schoolhouse when Sadiku, cackling to herself and carrying a bundle, arrives. Inside the bundle\u00a0maybe a\u00a0carved figure of the Bale. Sadiku looks at it and bursts into laughter, exulting in how she\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0women have undone him. Sidi is confused, and Sadiku whispers to her about the Bale\u2019s impotence. Lakunle sees them talking and tries\u00a0to find out\u00a0what\u00a0they're\u00a0saying, but both women tell him\u00a0to go away\u00a0them alone. Sidi announces she\u00a0features a\u00a0plan and tells Sadiku that\u00a0it might\u00a0be wondering if she could\u00a0attend\u00a0dinner with the Bale and see him thwarted. Sadiku gleefully agrees, and Sidi bounds off. After she leaves, Sadiku and Lakunle argue, with Lakunle telling Sadiku that his plans of modernity are\u00a0what's\u00a0best for the village. The scene shifts to the Bale\u2019s bedroom, where\u00a0he's\u00a0engaged in wrestling with\u00a0a person\u00a0hired for\u00a0the aim\u00a0of creating\u00a0him stronger. Sidi enters confidently, but the Bale\u2019s dismissive attitude confuses her. She pretends to ask his counsel on\u00a0a person\u00a0who wanted to marry her, describing the Bale instead. As the Bale continues to wrestle, he criticizes Sidi for\u00a0taking note of\u00a0Sadiku and being\u00a0one among\u00a0the vexing young women of the village. He asks her if Sadiku invented any stories,\u00a0and she or he\u00a0says no. He pretends to complain about Sadiku\u2019s constant matchmaking. He does admire Sidi, though, for seeming much deeper and more mature than how he once saw her. Baroka confides in her plan for a stamp machine\u00a0which will\u00a0have images of Ilunjinle\u00a0thereon,\u00a0also\u00a0as of Sidi herself. He ruminates more to himself that he\u00a0doesn't\u00a0hate progress but only bland similarity. He admits he\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0schoolteacher\u00a0isn't\u00a0so different,\u00a0which\u00a0they need to\u00a0work together. The drums begin,\u00a0and feminine\u00a0dancers pursue a male. Sadiku and Lakunle\u00a0await\u00a0Sidi to return. Lakunle\u00a0is extremely\u00a0nervous and claims he will go rescue Sidi. The mummers play\u00a0within the\u00a0distance, and Sadiku joyfully assumes the Bale has been brought down. She also tells Lakunle he must pay the mummers for performance or\u00a0it might\u00a0be rude. She grabs money from his pocket and pays them; they dance out the story of Baroka and his downfall. Sadiku herself is invited\u00a0to assist\u00a0\u201ckill\u201d the Bale. Suddenly Sidi runs in, sobbing. She throws herself to\u00a0the bottom. Lakunle is horrified and asks if she was beaten. Sidi sobs that Sadiku was fooled: the Lion tricked her and\u00a0wasn't\u00a0impotent\u00a0in the least, so he raped Sidi and took her virginity. Lakunle announces he will still marry Sidi. She is perplexed and asks if\u00a0this is often\u00a0true. He asserts. However,\u00a0soon\u00a0when marriage preparations start, Lakunle becomes visibly distressed. He claims\u00a0to wish\u00a0longer. Sidi laughs and says she\u00a0is\u00a0preparing\u00a0to marry Baroka because\u00a0it's\u00a0the sole\u00a0thing\u00a0she will\u00a0do. Sadiku blesses her and asks the gods for fertility. The festivities begin,and even Lakunle seems to be stepping into\u00a0the spirit of things when he chases a\u00a0girl\u00a0who shakes her butt at him. The Lion and the Jewel\u00a0 Analysis The Lion\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0Jewel takes place in Ilujinle,\u00a0a little\u00a0African village facing rapid change.\u00a0because the\u00a0play begins,\u00a0it's\u00a0morning,\u00a0and therefore the\u00a0audience sees a marketplace, dominated by an immense ocean tree. To the left of the stage\u00a0is a component\u00a0of the village school, within which\u00a0the scholars\u00a0chant the \u201cArithmetic Times.\u201d Sidi enters the stage; she\u00a0may be a\u00a0beautiful, slim girl with plaited hair\u2014the true village belle. Balancing a pail on her head and wearing broadcloth, Sidi attracts\u00a0the eye\u00a0of Lakunle, the young schoolteacher, who looks out\u00a0the varsity\u00a0windows to admire her beauty. Lakunle,\u00a0wearing\u00a0an old-style, threadbare, unironed English suit, scolds Sidi for carrying the pail on her head, telling her that\u00a0the load\u00a0of the pail will hurt her spine and shorten her neck. He wants her to be a \u201cmodern\u201d woman. Sidi, however, quickly reminds him of\u00a0the days\u00a0he has sworn that her looks\u00a0don't\u00a0affect his love for her.\u00a0there's\u00a0a comic book\u00a0exchange of charge and countercharge between\u00a0the 2, revealing Lakunle\u2019s uncomfortable attitude about Sidi\u2019s showing parts of her body: \u201cHow often must I tell you, Sidi, that a grown-up girl must\u00a0cover\u00a0her. . . . Her shoulders.\u201d This first scene also introduces Baroka, the Bale (the village chief): Sixty-two years old, wiry, goateed,\u00a0he's\u00a0also attracted by Sidi. The Bale,\u00a0the other\u00a0of Lakunle, is an artful, traditional man who resists the building of roads and railways, trying\u00a0to stay\u00a0his society insulated from \u201cprogress.\u201d The dialogue between these two men constitutes the crux of the play: the conservative, clear view of life represented by the Bale versus the progressive sloganeering of Lakunle. Beneath this sociopolitical theme\u00a0is that the\u00a0other struggle\u2014the war for Sidi\u2019s love. The second scene of the play, \u201cNoon,\u201d introduces Sadiku, for forty-one years the chief wife\u00a0within the\u00a0Bale\u2019s harem. Sadiku, acting as an ambassador for the \u201cLion,\u201d the Bale, announces to Sidi that the Bale wants her for his latest wife;\u00a0it's, after all, been five months since he last took a wife.\u00a0during a\u00a0comic exchange, Sidi, Sadiku, and Lakunle argue about who shall have Sidi. Lakunle,\u00a0during a\u00a0rage more pretended than true, denounces the Bale: \u201cWhat! The greedy dog! Insatiate camel of a foolish, doting race; Is he at his tricks again?\u201d Sidi reminds him that she will\u00a0represent\u00a0herself, bolstered by her \u201cfame\u201d that has been spread throughout the region by the magazine pictures taken by a photographer. Sadiku, no novice at wooing wives for the Lion, appeals to Sidi by telling her that even the Lion\u00a0has got to\u00a0die sometime, and Sidi will then have\u00a0the respect\u00a0of being the senior wife of\u00a0a replacement\u00a0Bale. Sidi, however,\u00a0isn't\u00a0easily won. She slyly asks: \u201cBaroka not request my hand. The stranger brought his book of images. Why did the Lion not bestow his gift before my face was lauded to the world?\u201d Lakunle, always\u00a0able to\u00a0insult the Bale, interjects: \u201cI don\u2019t know what\u00a0the ladies\u00a0see in him. His eyes are small and always red with wine.\u201d Lakunle contrasts his \u201cdew-moistened\u201d face with the Lion\u2019s \u201cleather piece.\u201d Here and throughout the play, Lakunle\u2019s words\u00a0end in\u00a0his defeat. Soyinka\u2019s subtle use of linguistic register consistently highlights Lakunle\u2019s role of poorly prepared reformer. Lakunle espouses progress, success, civilization, and fame, but never supports his empty generalities. The third and final scene, \u201cNight,\u201d opens, much\u00a0an equivalent\u00a0because of the\u00a0first scene,\u00a0within the\u00a0village center.\u00a0the competition\u00a0for Sidi\u2019s love continues with the Lion reminding everyone of his virility and touting his manliness. His attempts are again unsuccessful.\u00a0during a\u00a0conversation with Sadiku, the crafty Lion conceives\u00a0a replacement\u00a0ruse: He announces that his manhood is gone. The Bale\u2019s feigned impotence releases Sadiku\u2019s suppressed feelings,\u00a0and she or he\u00a0invites Sidi to celebrate the women\u2019s victory over the dominating male. Unfortunately for Sadiku and Sidi, the old Lion still has life in him.