The Lion and the Jewel is a novel written by Wole Soyinka. The novel talks about tradition and modernity. It also, talks about a beautiful young girl named Sidi. She was a student when she received a proposal from his school uncle (Lakunle). As you continue to read, you will discover the summary of the Lion and the Jewel.
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Summary of the Lion and the Jewel
The first scene opens in the center of the village in the morning. Teacher Lakunle came out of the classroom and saw Sidi carry a bucket of water. He questioned why Sidi is carrying a bucket of water on her, and dressing indecently.
Lakunle who wanted to marry Sidi, propose to her. Sidi accept but gave him a condition that he must pay her bride price. Teacher Lakunle avoids the idea, stating that it is old and outdated.
Some villagers came and informed Sidi that a man known as ‘A Stranger’ have returned to the village. The last time the Stranger visited, he took Sidi’s photograph and have now returned with a magazine which contains Sidi’s photograph. Sidi was informed that the pictures were beautiful.
The villages were happy and were dancing because of the return of the stranger. Baroka interrupts the performance and join them to dance too. Sidi drags Lakunle out, and went to see the picture herself.
In the afternoon, Baroka sent his most senior wife, Sadiku, to woo Sidi on his behalf. It was a great honor for Sidi but she feels that Baroka is too old for her. With Sidi’s pride of her beautiful picture being in a magazine, she announces that she is too good to marry Baroka and Lakunle.
Sadiku returned and informed his husband, Baroka, that Sidi rejected his proposal. There, Baroka confessed to Sadiku that he is impotent (unable to impregnate a woman). He stated that he feels that marrying a young lady will him restore his manhood to normal.
At night, along the street of the village, Sadiku leaked Baroka’s secret by informing Sidi that Baroka is impotent. Sidi was happy and agrees with Sadiku that they should go and mock Baroka.
Baroka invited Sidi to his place. Lakunle does not like the idea of Baroka inviting Sidi, but he couldn’t stop her. When Sidi when goes to Baroka’s place, she pretended as if she wasn’t aware of his proposal. Baroka outsmart Sidi as he informed her that he will use his own printing machine to print more beautiful pictures of her. With that, he was able to lure Sidi to bed and slept with her.
On the village street, Lakunle and Sadiku watched some villagers dancing and performing as they spread the news that Baroka is impotent. Sidi was crying when she came. She informed Sadiku that Baroka fooled her, and he’s not impotent.
Despite everything, Lakunle was still eager to marry Sidi, but he won’t have to pay her bride price. Sidi laughed at Lakunle for believing that she would marry him. She later knelt before Sadiku so that she can give her blessing in her marriage to Baroka.
Settings of The Lion and the Jewel
The settings of the Lion and the Jewel novel is Ilujinle village.