StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka - Book Report/Review Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka

It would be easy to approach the play as an allegory of traditional Nigeria's encounter with modern Western culture. Speaking of the three main characters of the play, Andrew Walser comments: "One could reduce Soyinka's The Lion and the Jewel to an allegory in which Baroka represents African tradition, Lakunle stands for the temptation to mimic the West, and Sidi represents beauty and art" (Walser, 284). But Walser concludes that this is wrong-headed because the characters are developed beyond being such ciphers. Indeed, if one followed the implications of such an allegorical reading of the play, then Soyinka would be arguing against his own life. With a series of academic posts in Britain and the United States, and his defence of Western ideals of freedom and Justice in the face of Nigeria's dictators, Soyinka is very Westernized indeed. Lakunle fails in his imitation of the West, presenting an appearance in the stage directions that begin the play (Soyinka 1), that a Westerner would find comic, and humiliating himself as an imperfect mimic of the West even in the eyes of a simple village girl such as Sidi: …the whole world knows of the madman Of Ilujinle, who calls himself a teacher! Is it SIDI who makes the men choke In their cups, or you, with your big loud words And no meaning?... (Soyinka 3).Similarly, it is the village Bale of chief Baroka who triumphs in the seduction of Sidi. This would suggest, if one followed the allegory, that art ought to become the property of Nigerian tradition. But, on the one hand it is hardly allowable that art could be won by tradition through, "the fear of impotence, and woman's sexual malice" (Laurence 24), while on the other it is obvious that Soyinka's own art belongs to the West. His form is completely Western: the text is even written in iambic pentameter (though Soyinka has a rather dead ear for it). It is true that the play has many Yorbuan elements with its mimes and dances, but it is almost as though these are exotic elements brought in to provide 'local color' to a Western text.
The possibility of an allegorical reading of the play cannot be dismissed. It is inevitably called into being by the text and cannot be easily sent away from the reader's or the viewer's mind. But the contrast between the message of any allegorical interpretation of the play and the audience's expectation, or indeed with Soyinka's own art and artistic ideals, denies the validity of the obvious allegory. Rather, the allegorical expectations of the audience are purposefully subverted. This subversion is ultimately the source of the play's comedy. In so Western a work, the representation of the West is a clownish buffoon, whose attempt to oust Baroka and the tradition he represents from his position of dominance fails utterly. Baroka turns out to be far more sophisticated and subtle than his mock-Western opponent, as well as more successful. Perhaps Soyinka is exploring a different path his life might have taken. This tension within the play overturns the expectation of the play's audience. The play was written in English and so could have an audience only of Westerners or of heavily Westernized Nigerians who most likely would expect the West to triumph in the name of 'Modernization' or some such ideological goal. Perhaps they are instead made to see their pretensions in a new light by a satire that instead sees the triumph of ...Show more

Summary

This review "The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka" will provide deep analysis of the
Author : allison13
The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the book report/review on your topic
"The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

American Movie - Crash
After successful career in television, Paul Haggis came into making feature films, and became so successful that he was known as the “Million Dollar Baby.” He won the Best Picture award in the 2005 Academy Awards. The screenplay has been presented by Haggis and Bobby Moresco.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal may be described as the personification of love in architecture. It is also called “a monument of immeasurable beauty”, “a poem in marble”, “a jewel of India”, and “a legend of eternal love of an Emperor for his favorite Queen” (Taj Mahal official web site).
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
The Trials of Brother Jero
The Trials of Brother Jero can best be realized as a farce which deals with the lives of four characters, such as Jero, Chume, Amope, and a Member of Parliament, over five scenes and the playwright has been highly effective in satirizing religious charlatanism.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Postcolonial Literature Book Report/Review
t Postcolonial literature is called called "New English Literature(s) sometimes. Cned with the political and cultural independence of peoples formerly subjugated in colonial empires, and the literary expression of postcolonialism. (Spivak 1990) The idea of 'postcolonial literature' was initially conceived to describe writing from the former British Empire.
10 pages (2500 words) Book Report/Review
Arthurian Literature
It might be distinguished as a shift in prevailing concern from the brave to the dreamy that is, from rejoicing the developments of a leader plus his men to recounting the adventures of a character knight. From exposing a male dominated setting to screening a newer one within which women has a vital character.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
The Wizard οf Oz
Did you know that the Wicked Witch f the West was actually named Elphaba, and that she could sing like a nightingale Or that her sister, the owner f the red shoes , was named Nessarose and was born without arms Did you know that Glinda the Good Witch (born Galinda) was, when she was young, a spoilt brat who cared for little other than her beauty and being in the "right" social group The whole story unravels in between the covers f Wicked.
5 pages (1250 words) Book Report/Review
William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
Faulkner sets up unique themes in the novel: mothering and speaking. Te Bundrens finally succeed in their efforts, its costs are too high, and only Anse, the husband and father, actually succeed. Thesis Characters development is unveiled and expressed through their speaking and thoughts, so readers can understand gradual transformation of their consciousness.
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Poetry of William Butler Yeats Review
In addition to this he states that he loves her changing face as she aged. He states that he, “loved the sorrows of your changing face” (Yeats, 7-8). In this instance, the ‘sorrows’ seem to represent the effects of age.
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Write a paper about Taj Mahal
The history of the Taj Mahal is the history of love, passion, separation and creation. The majestic mausoleum mosque was built in the 17th century (1631-1653) by the order of Mughal emperor (the Muslim ruler of India) Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. His
4 pages (1000 words) Book Report/Review
Jewels
Finlay travelled around the world to do discovery from different states and countries; for instance, Native American of Arizona, Australia, to Burmese ruby mines of the historical production. Victoria
3 pages (750 words) Book Report/Review
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation