The Lion and the Jewel

by

Wole Soyinka

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The Lion and the Jewel: Night Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Later that evening, Sidi stands by the schoolhouse and admires her photographs in the magazine. Sadiku furtively enters the village center with a bundle. She pulls out a carved figure of Baroka, studies it, and laughs. She sets it down as Sidi stares. Sadiku addresses the figure, asking if his wives "scotched" him. She cackles and describes how she scotched Baroka's father years ago with her youth and strength. She says that women will always consume men. She laughs again and says that men run wildly while women just stand, watch, and draw the life from men.
Sidi continues to demonstrate her vanity. She's becoming increasingly Narcissus-like as she focuses on her own image and becomes blinded to the rest of the world. The statue of Baroka would've once functioned as a representation of Baroka's power and manliness, but now that his virility is gone, it's reduced to simply being an object. The powerlessness of the real person robs the statue of power, as well.
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Still laughing, Sadiku starts a chant of "take warning, my masters/We'll scotch you in the end" and dances around the statue of Baroka. Sidi approaches and scares Sadiku. Sadiku tells Sidi that this time of victory is not a good time for her to be scared to death, and Sidi asks what battle Sadiku won. Sadiku says that it's not just her who won—all women won. She resumes her dance and chant and Sidi stands perplexed. Sadiku asks Sidi to join her and not ask questions, but Sidi grabs her and refuses to let go until Sadiku tells her what's going on.
Sadiku evidently isn't as faithful to her husband as Baroka thought she was, which begins to complicate their relationship. Sadiku has obviously done a great job tricking Baroka into believing her to be faithful to him alone, when her monologue indicates that she's actually faithful to women as a whole and not at all to her husband.
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Sadiku makes Sidi swear silence and whispers in her ear. Sidi's eyes go wide and she asks why Baroka asked her to marry him, and Sadiku whispers in Sidi's ear again. Sidi laughs and says she's suddenly glad to be a woman. She cheers for womankind and the two women take up Sadiku's chant and dance around the statue.
Here, Sadiku actively disobeys her husband by sharing his secret with Sidi. Sidi joins Sadiku's dance because she sees that Baroka's downfall means that Sidi herself is truly powerful now, as she can say no and avoid marriage to Baroka.
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Lakunle enters the village center, watches Sidi and Sadiku for a moment, and then declares that the women are going mad even when the moon isn't full. Sidi and Sadiku stop dancing. Sadiku fixes Lakunle with a disapproving stare and tells him to leave. She says that she and Sidi are going to perform a ritual and if Lakunle stays, he'll be the sacrifice. Lakunle taunts her again and calls her a hag. When he tries to assert how masculine he is, Sadiku laughs and asks if Lakunle is truly a man if Baroka isn't a man anymore. Lakunle understands what Sadiku means and looks shocked. Sadiku tells Sidi to keep dancing and ignore Lakunle, since only real men are endangered by watching the ceremony.
Sadiku is emboldened with the knowledge that women are triumphing over men. Lakunle's snide remark about women going crazy shows again how little he thinks of women as a group. He shows that he finds them silly and easily influenced. It implies that women can't celebrate something because they want to; they must be influenced by some outside force and not be in full control of their own emotions.
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Sidi suddenly tells Sadiku to stop. She says that she wants to accept Baroka's invitation to the feast so she can mock him. She says she'll ask forgiveness and ask for a month to think about his proposal. Sadiku seems doubtful and says that Baroka will know she didn't keep his secret. Sidi says that she wants nothing more than to see Baroka humiliated. Sadiku warms up to the idea and tells her to torment him and to use her "bashful looks." Sadiku suggests she go with Sidi, but Sidi brushes her off. Lakunle, looking horrified, begs Sidi not to go. He says that Baroka will see right through the plot and will beat Sidi, but Sidi gleefully sings a goodbye and runs off.
Sidi exposes her youth, vanity, and (false) sense of power by suggesting this trick. Notice too that Sidi's goal is an emotional one only. She doesn't want to affect real change in anyone’s life or in the community, she only wants to make Baroka feel a certain way. This is consistent with the play's gendered view of goals. The men want concrete things, while the female characters' goals are emotional.
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Lakunle calls Sidi foolish and reprimands Sadiku for not being able to keep a secret, insulting her age in the process. He threatens her if anything happens to Sidi, but Sadiku only laughs and says that Sidi can take better care of herself than Lakunle would ever be able to. She walks around Lakunle, studying him, and tells him he's unattractive. Lakunle refuses to take the bait.
Age is evidently an appropriate insult to throw at women, given that Lakunle insults Sadiku's age throughout the play. This creates a double standard for the sexes. Men's age doesn't matter, while women's age or youthfulness is of the utmost importance.
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Sadiku tells Lakunle that his betrothed is currently eating with Baroka. Lakunle seems pleased that Sadiku called Sidi his betrothed, but he quickly corrects her that they're not technically engaged yet. Sadiku laughs and asks if Lakunle has paid the bride price, and Lakunle instructs her to mind her own business. Sadiku suggests that Lakunle take a farm for one season to earn the money, and then wonders if the dirt will be too smelly for him.
Lakunle acts as though he's fully enjoying the thrill of chasing Sidi. Sadiku understands that Lakunle feels as though he's better than the villagers and their way of life. She suggests that Lakunle is silly for insisting on a modern method of marriage; she sees it as simply making things more complicated.
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Lakunle again tells Sadiku to leave him alone. Sadiku laughs and says that it's true then that Lakunle means to modernize the village so that the bride price is a thing of a past. She says it's a good way of getting out of paying the price, but it'd be easier to just pay it. Lakunle states that within two years, the village will be completely transformed: women will stand with men, a road will pass through, and women will cook in saucepans. He continues, saying that in Lagos people build factories while in Ilujinle people play silly games. Lakunle says that Ilujinle must modernize or be forgotten.
Again, Lakunle wants Ilujinle to be famous like Lagos is, but the way he talks about it shows that he believes there are only a couple options for how to do this. He continues to ignore the fact that the magazine is already bringing Ilujinle fame. Notice, too, that in Lakunle's fantasy, women are still responsible for cooking—they just cook in saucepans instead of traditional cookware. This continues to develop the idea that Lakunle's goals don't actually afford women more power.
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Sadiku, looking terrified, tries to walk away, but Lakunle follows her and continues his tirade. He tells Sadiku that she needs to come to school with the children since she doesn't read, write, or think. He accuses her of doing nothing but collecting women for Baroka.
Lakunle continues to devalue Sadiku's role in the village and the power she enjoys. While he sees Baroka as a tyrant for marrying so many young women, he ignores that Sadiku is powerful because she facilitates these marriages.
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In Baroka's bedroom, Baroka and his wrestler are wrestling. Sidi enters Baroka's house and yells the traditional greeting. Baroka hears her but chooses to ignore her in favor of the task at hand. Sidi comes into Baroka's bedroom and is surprised to see Baroka and the wrestler. Baroka asks if Sadiku isn't home, and Sidi answers that nobody greeted her. Baroka sighs and remembers out loud that today is Sunday, the day that his servants take a day off now that they've formed a union.
Baroka's tone of voice indicates that he's annoyed rather than angry that his servants have formed a union. This runs counter to what Lakunle has said about Baroka. Baroka is obviously not entirely against modernization and progress, it seems more like he just finds some aspects of progress annoying.
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Sidi asks if Baroka's wives also get the day off. Baroka says that the "madness" hasn't yet reached his wives, and he asks again if anyone greeted Sidi. He asks specifically about his favorite wife and Sidi, fascinated by the wrestling match, absentmindedly replies that she noticed the woman's stool and embroidery when she came in. Baroka muses that his favorite is surely sulking and asks if she left her shawl. Sidi confirms that the shawl is on the stool, and Baroka sighs that the shawl means his favorite will return this evening, even though he wanted to escape her for a number of days. When Sidi asks why, Baroka explains that the favorite abused his armpit.
Progress is obviously annoying and foreign to Baroka if he's referring to it as "madness." The fact that Baroka is still fixated on the favorite's painful armpit plucking shows that he tends to fixate on small faults. It also sets the stage for him to take another wife; it's obvious that he's growing tired and annoyed with the favorite. Sidi's interest in the wrestling match indicates that men's worth comes from physical strength, and it's an effective way to inspire female interest.
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Sidi seems disappointed by this explanation, and Baroka asks what more a woman could do to him. Sidi hastily agrees that there's nothing worse that a woman could possibly do, but suggests that young wives might be too forward at times. Baroka brushes this off and says that wives don't behave that way in his house.
Baroka speaks as though his wives are kept tightly in hand in his household. It's unclear how true or effective this is, given that Sadiku is out sharing Baroka's secrets with Sidi and Lakunle even though she was expressly forbidden from doing so.
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The wrestling match continues and Sidi remains fascinated by it, though she suddenly remembers why she came in the first place. She kneels and tells Baroka that she comes "as a repentant child." Baroka feigns confusion and Sidi explains that her answer to the Bale's question was thoughtless. Baroka continues to act confused and says he only asked for her to join him for dinner. Sidi is caught off guard and asks if Baroka didn't ask for something else. She finally says that she just wants to make sure the Bale invited her to his home.
The stage directions make it clear that Baroka is tricking Sidi and purposefully trying to keep Sidi off balance. He has all the power here, as he calls into question the reason she's in his home in the first place. This is crystallized when Sidi uses Baroka's title at the end of this exchange—it's a very obvious way of showing Baroka that she respects and understands his power and status.
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Baroka asks if Sidi thinks he's offended that she entered his bedroom without being announced. When Sidi reminds him that he called her a stranger, he simply replies that his bedroom should be private. When Sidi looks hurt, Baroka calls her his child and tells her she takes offense too quickly. Sidi curtseys to Baroka, though she doesn't look at him.
Baroka continues to keep Sidi off balance by criticizing her emotions. He also keeps Sidi subordinate by referring to her as a child. This creates a sense that their relationship is defined by their age, and that Baroka is superior because of his age.
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Sidi remembers her purpose again and adopting a mischievous tone, says she thought the favorite was a "gentle" woman. Baroka says he thought the same, and Sidi asks if the favorite was dissatisfied with Baroka. Baroka incredulously asks Sidi if she thinks he has time to consider why women are annoyed at any given moment. This again scares Sidi and hurts her feelings and seeing this, Baroka gently tells Sidi to sit down and not make him feel like a crotchety old man. He explains that he doesn't let anyone watch his exercises.
Even though Baroka is hurting Sidi's feelings by keeping her off balance, he blames her for making him feel old. This keeps shifting the power towards Baroka and away from Sidi. Baroka also speaks as though he's far too important to consider women's feelings at all. He's obviously self-centered, particularly when it comes to women and his wives.
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Watching the men wrestle, Sidi offers that she thinks the wrestler will win. Baroka asks her if she wants the wrestler to win. Sidi hesitates before offering a riddle in response. Baroka pretends to be confused and turns back to his opponent and Sidi seizes the opportunity to make faces behind Baroka's back. She says again that she thinks the wrestler will win, and Baroka explains that the wrestler has to win. Baroka compliments his opponent's strength and says that he wrestles new opponents when he learns to beat old ones, and takes new wives when he learns to tire the old ones.
Sidi's actions here mirror Sadiku's dance around the statue of Baroka. Neither woman can taunt Baroka to his face; they must tease him either using a stand-in or behind his back. When compared to the way that Baroka is systematically destroying Sidi's sense of power, it's obvious that men have far more power than the women of Ilujinle. Baroka can call Sidi a child to her face; the women couldn't dream of doing such a thing.
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Sidi asks Baroka if he's experiencing a time of change right now, and Baroka replies that he doesn't know. Sidi paces away from the wrestling match and back, telling Baroka that a woman brought her a message that afternoon of a "go-between" (suggesting an offer of marriage). Baroka asks if this is unusual and says he's happy for her. He says she must have many suitors, and Sidi says that this particular offer came from a man who is very well to-do.
Here, both Baroka and Sidi herself objectify her and turn her into an object for men to win. This shows again that Sidi (and Ilujinle women in general) are made to fully participate in the system that denies them power. Sidi speaks as though she doesn't have the power to outright accept or deny these suitors.
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Pacing and making more rude gestures behind Baroka's back, Sidi asks Baroka if he'd pay the bride price to this man if Baroka were her father. She offers an aside to the audience that many would believe Baroka was her father anyway.
Again, Sidi can allow the audience to share her secret as she makes fun of Baroka, but she can't actually tease Baroka to his face.
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Baroka asks if the man is rich or repulsive. Sidi says he's rich, but old. Baroka asks if the man is mean, and Sidi says that she's heard stories that this man is very generous to strangers, but the man's wives say that he enjoys ground corn and pepper because he doesn't want to pay for snuff. Baroka throws his wrestler over his shoulder angrily and bursts out that the price of snuff has nothing to do with anything. Sidi celebrates Baroka's wrestling victory and ignores his outburst, while Baroka continues to say that people are slandering him.
The façade is broken as Baroka throws the wrestler; his outburst betrays that he knows Sidi is talking about him and not another man. This makes it clear to everyone involved (Sidi, Baroka, and the audience/reader) that this is a power of wits, and both sides are attempting to trick the other and win. Snuff would also be a modern commodity, and Baroka's refusal to buy snuff supports Lakunle's view of him.
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The wrestler pulls out a low bench and sits on the floor. Baroka sits down as well and the two begin to arm wrestle on the bench. Composing himself, Baroka says that he knows the ways of women and he offers Sidi a hypothetical situation in which as a child, he himself learned to love "tanfiri" (the aforementioned ground corn and pepper), but as an old man, he found his desire for the tanfiri insatiable. He asks Sidi to consider how bad it would look for a man like him to be constantly consuming the tanfiri in public, and suggests that purchasing a "dignified" snuff box would make the habit look better. He reminds Sidi that this is only a hypothetical situation to illustrate how mean women can be. Sidi, however, is still dancing and has obviously paid no attention to Baroka's monologue.
Baroka's hypothetical situation (which is, of course, true) shows a perfectly reasonable thought process: Baroka wants to look like a leader and be worthy of respect. Notice, though, that the way to gain that respect is by embracing the modern snuffbox (and the status it connotes) to conceal his traditional (and presumably, not well-received) tanfiri habit. This suggests that Baroka understands that modernity can be a good thing and can create positive change and achieve a concrete goal, but it also suggests that his selective embrace of modernity is most useful in concealing and enabling his natural tendency towards tradition.
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Embarrassed, Sidi stops dancing when she sees Baroka eyeing her with confusion. She tries to recover and says that this time the wrestler will surely win. Baroka returns to Sidi's suitor and asks if he's kind, fierce, and wise. Sidi answers that he's kind to his animals and has a number of leopard skins, but she notes that those are readily available in the market. She says the man is very clever.
All of Sidi's replies are underhanded insults to Baroka, which illustrates again the fine line she has to walk in order to insult him to his face. Notice, though, that he's certainly aware that she's insulting him and he's allowing it. This becomes evidence that this is all part of his plan, and he's tricking her.
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Baroka, seeming desperate, asks if the man is still fathering children. Sidi says that he used to, but he hasn't had any children for the last several years. Baroka suggests that the man is frugal, but Sidi giggles and wonders if he's neglecting his wives. As Baroka slams his opponent's arm down on the table, he says that Sidi sounds like she's been listening to Sadiku, which Sidi denies.
Though Sadiku is supposedly Baroka's favorite, it's obvious here that some of her habits irk him. This also suggests further that he's aware that the women are attempting to trick him; now Sidi must figure out how to appropriately convince Baroka that she hasn't spoken with Sadiku.
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Baroka acts annoyed and accuses Sidi of making him lose his wrestler. He sends the wrestler to find a gourd of food, sits down on the bed, and laments that he's becoming an ill-tempered old man. He tells Sidi he wanted to surprise her with his invitation for dinner and asks again if she's been talking with Sadiku. Sidi again denies that she spoke with Sadiku, and Baroka asks if Sadiku possibly made something up. Sidi insists that Sadiku told her nothing except that Baroka begged her presence for dinner.
Again, it's Sidi's fault for angering Baroka and causing him to win the wrestling match. This, paired with Baroka's lament that he's getting old and crotchety, is another attempt to unbalance Sidi, poke at her emotions, and make her feel responsible for Baroka's age and strength.
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Sidi's use of "beg" seems to anger Baroka and he accuses her of taunting her elders. He explains that she shouldn't listen to women like Sadiku, as they scheme and play matchmaker for him whether he asks them to or not. He laments that he can't ask after any young women in the village without Sadiku inserting herself, and the women inevitably end up in his bed. Sidi says Baroka's life sounds rough.
Finally, Baroka calls Sidi out on what she's actually doing (taunting him). When he says that Sidi shouldn't listen to Sadiku, it takes on another layer of meaning and suggests again that he's aware of the tricks they’re playing. It foreshadows that Sidi shouldn't have listened to Sadiku, as Sadiku herself was tricked.
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Baroka nonchalantly replies that he accepts his life without complaint and only dislikes the "new immodesty" of women. He asks if Sidi is still behaving like a village girl, and Sidi insists that she is. Baroka looks Sidi up and down and wonders out loud how he could've ever thought that she was vain and silly. He says he thinks she's quite mature and wise as he pulls out the magazine and an addressed envelope.
In Baroka's eyes, being a good village girl is attractive, which is in direct opposition to how Lakunle sees Sidi and the village girls. Baroka flatters Sidi and her vanity by calling her mature and wise for adhering to the village customs and rejecting Lakunle's ideas of modernity.
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Baroka hands Sidi the envelope and asks Sidi if she knows what the stamp is. Sidi says she does and shares that Lakunle gets letters from Lagos with stamps. Baroka looks disappointed that Sidi knows and asks her if she also knows what the stamp means. Sidi proudly says that it's a tax on "the habit of talking with paper." Baroka says it's obvious that she's been learning from Lakunle.
This instance is the one time when it truly seems as though Baroka isn't fully in control of the situation. Sidi seems to be stealing his thunder with her knowledge of postal systems. This opens up the possibility that modern knowledge can provide women some power.
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Baroka goes to a strange machine in the corner of his room and calls Sidi to look at it. He explains that the machine doesn't work yet, but when it's fixed, it will allow him to print stamps for Ilujinle. Sidi is in awe. Baroka asks her what she thinks of the image on the stamp (a bridge). He goes on to describe the images on other stamps: palm trees, groundnuts, bronze figures. He laments that no stamps show people, and asks Sidi to imagine stamps with her own image on them. Sidi loses herself in the daydream and sits down on Baroka's bed, holding the magazine but not looking at it.
Baroka is obviously quite skilled at flattery. He knows that the best way to flatter Sidi and bring her to his side is to appeal to her vanity by using the photographs to accomplish his own goals. By doing this, he also suggests that modernity isn't a bad thing, but that it must be used to help people. The stamps will also allow the village to experience a sense of pride in their people by using a photograph of their village belle.
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Baroka asks Sidi if it's too much to ask for her beauty to grace the mail of Ilujinle. He paces the length of the room and explains that they'll start with making stamps for the village only. Turning to Sidi, Baroka says that people invent all sorts of stories about his hatred of progress and modernity, but he only wants to do what's best for his people, and the stamps will improve life in the village. Baroka continues to say that he doesn't hate progress; he just hates that it makes everything look the same. Walking back to Sidi, he sits next to her on the bed and asks her if she too finds "sameness" boring and revolting. Sidi can only nod.
Finally, Baroka confirms what's been suggested throughout the play: he doesn't see modernity as an entirely negative thing. He only hates progress for the sake of progress. This also shows that, though Baroka is definitely a womanizer and leads a luxurious life with beautiful women to serve him, he also cares deeply for the welfare of his village and his wives. He's also finally turned the tables fully on Sidi; she no longer is in control of anything.
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Baroka says that he and Sidi both have sensitive souls, and says that though they're a generation apart in age, their thoughts fit together perfectly. He says their first "union" will come when they make the stamp with her face on it, and he will worship Sidi's beauty. He asks Sidi if she likes the idea, but Sidi slowly says that she can barely understand as his words sound like Lakunle's. She wonders if she's as dumb as Lakunle tells her she is and looks miserable.
"Union" takes on several meanings. It describes the literal union of Sidi's face with the stamp, it becomes a sexual innuendo, and it also alludes to a union of progress and tradition. Sidi specifically struggles to understand that final meaning; her fears that she's as dumb as Lakunle told her she was show that she hadn't considered that progress and modernity could truly coexist.
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Baroka assures Sidi that she's not dumb, just "straight and truthful." He says that he and Lakunle are really very alike and must learn from each other. Baroka says that "the old must flow into the new" rather than fight each other. Sidi says that Baroka's words seem wise, and Baroka continues to speak about the necessity of embracing both old and new. He says that people think his life is only one of pleasure, but he insists that he works hard for his people. Sidi lays her head on Baroka's shoulder.
Though it's increasingly obvious that Baroka is trying very hard to woo Sidi, the stamp machine is evidence that Baroka does truly want to do things that will help his people, even if he personally finds them abhorrent. This turns him into a relatively selfless character, unlike Lakunle.
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A group of dancers composed of several women chasing a masked man cross the room twice to the sound of drumming and shouting. Later that evening, Lakunle and Sadiku stand in the market waiting for Sidi, watching vendors hawk their wares. Lakunle paces and looks worried and angry, while Sadiku looks content. Lakunle insists angrily that Baroka killed Sidi. He says that he'll drive Sadiku out of her home for plotting with Sidi to mock Baroka.
Lakunle never fell for Baroka's trick in the first place, and he sees the women's actions as the height of foolishness. Now that we've heard Baroka speak for himself, it's evident that both men hold each other in respectful regard and are aware of the power that the other holds. As the women are left out of this, they pay the price.
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As people pass, Lakunle continues to search the crowd for Sidi. When the wrestler passes, Sadiku greets him. After their exchange, she looks confused. Lakunle laments Sidi's fate in Baroka's dungeon and vows to rescue her. Sadiku and Lakunle hear mummers (street performers) and Sadiku suggests that they heard the news of Baroka's lost manhood. Lakunle chastises her for spreading Baroka's secret.
The wrestler wandering through the village alone indicates that Baroka and Sidi are alone together—a troubling possibility for one who wanted to thwart Baroka. Sadiku continues to prove herself unfaithful, as she reveals that she has purposefully spread Baroka's secret.
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Sadiku seems unconcerned and reaches her hand into Lakunle's pocket, asking if he has money. He jumps away from her, but she insists he pay the mummers for a performance. She says the mummers will expect him to pay for a performance since he's a schoolteacher and possesses "foreign wisdom." The dancers pass through again while Sadiku successfully grabs money out of Lakunle's pocket. She offers the money to the mummers who drum thanks to her. She gestures that Lakunle gave them the money and they drum thanks to him, which annoys Lakunle.
Sadiku is extremely confident that women have won the war against men, and she'd like to continue celebrating her victory. She also suggests that Lakunle, as basically a foreigner because of his education, has a responsibility to keep the local traditions alive. This indicates that modernity will be responsible for either the death or preservation of these traditions.
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The dancers dance the story of Baroka's downfall. Baroka is portrayed as comical and only tolerated by his wives. Sadiku watches the dance excitedly and joins in to dance the final "scotching" of Baroka. When the story is finished, the dancers dance away while Sadiku continues alone. Lakunle enjoyed the dance despite his annoyance. Sadiku walks happily back towards Lakunle, who tries to look unhappy about the performance. Annoyed, Sadiku shouts "boo" at him and dances at him. She says men used to love her smooth dancing. Lakunle says that he hopes Baroka kills her for this trick.
Sadiku's celebration is becoming more and more public as she grows confident that Baroka is truly "scotched." The dancers' portrayal of Baroka is indicative of how the villagers and his wives see him, or how Lakunle would like to think everyone sees him. It turns him into a caricature rather than showing that he's a three-dimensional figure.
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Sidi runs into the market square, sobbing. She violently throws herself on the ground next to a tree. Sadiku kneels next to her and asks Sidi what's wrong, but Sidi pushes her away. Lakunle, looking triumphant, tries to take Sadiku's place. He offers to kiss Sidi's tears away but Sidi pushes him away too. Lakunle declares that Baroka must have beaten Sidi and tells the women that he warned them this would happen. Sidi keeps crying as Lakunle says he'll take Baroka to court for beating Sidi.
Lakunle is initially delighted that Sidi was punished for trying to exert too much power over the men around her. He sees that he gains power as she loses power. Notice that Lakunle wants to go through official Western channels to get revenge rather than whatever traditional systems might be in place. He continues to value Western ideas above traditional ones.
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Looking up, Sidi calls Sadiku and Lakunle fools and says that Baroka lied to Sadiku about his manhood. She says that he told Sidi "afterwards" that he knew Sadiku wouldn't keep his secret to herself, and he knew that young women would try to mock him for it. She yells that she hates him. Lakunle looks distraught and asks if Sidi escaped, insisting he can take the truth "like a man." Sadiku asks Sidi if she's still a virgin, and Sidi bursts into tears and shakes her head no. Lakunle invokes the Lord, but Sadiku says it's too late to pray and tells Sidi it happens to "the best of us."
Remember that Sidi isn't just suffering the emotional hurt of being tricked by Baroka; her worth as a woman in Ilujinle comes entirely from her beauty and her virginity, which guarantees that she'll fetch a bride price upon marriage. Now that Sidi's virginity is gone, even the beautiful photographs of her can't give her power. Sadiku's offhand comment suggests that this happens often, confirming Lakunle's initial fears.
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Lakunle asks the heavens to strike him dead and insists he no longer wants to live. He quickly decides that the wish to die is cowardly, and says that his love is selfless. He stands over Sidi and says that they'll forget the past. He says what happened won't change his love, but they can skip the bride price now that she's not a virgin. He offers Sidi his hand and shooting a glance at Sadiku, says that they'll all swear to keep this a secret. Sidi incredulously asks Lakunle if he'll really marry her. Puffing his chest, Lakunle says he will, and Sidi runs away.
Lakunle seems to think he's doing Sidi a favor by reminding her that she no longer will receive a bride price. However, his gallantry and dramatic monologue only make him look silly and out of touch as he diminishes Sidi's emotions. He continues to think only about himself and modernity, instead of taking into account Sidi's emotions and desires.
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Sadiku wonders what Sidi's doing. Lakunle, looking after Sidi, says that she's going home and asks Sadiku to follow and find out what she's doing. Sadiku follows Sidi while Lakunle insists to himself that he's a fool, but he obeys "his books." Music begins far away as Lakunle recites that "man takes the fallen woman by the hand" and remarks on his good fortune now that the question of the bride price is resolved.
Lakunle still sees Baroka's trick as entirely too convenient for his own goals. Lakunle's books would refer to the Bible, which he uses here to justify marrying Sidi even though she's not a virgin. He sees that he's "saving" Sidi, which gives him power and also places him alongside westerners who sought to "save" colonized peoples with Christianity.
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Sadiku returns to Lakunle and says that Sidi is packing her things and oiling herself like a bride. Alarmed, Lakunle says that there's no need to rush the wedding—he has to ask Sidi to marry him, and then he has to hire a number of people to facilitate the festivities. Sadiku says that she told Sidi the same thing, but Sidi only laughed and said to "leave all that nonsense to savages and 'barbarians.'"
Now that it appears as though Lakunle is going to accomplish his goal of marrying Sidi, he doesn't seem nearly as excited about it. Sidi's use of "barbarian" mimics the way that Lakunle uses language throughout the play. However, in this case she's referring to Lakunle as the barbarian.
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Lakunle insists that he can't be single one day and married the next with no time to prepare. Hearing the musicians he wonders how they found out about the wedding so quickly. He wonders what evil he committed to deserve a marriage like this. As the musicians and dancers enter the square, Lakunle yells at them to go home, since nobody's getting married.
Lakunle's lack of excitement transforms into him feeling punished for something by marrying Sidi. However, notice that it's a very self-centered conclusion that Lakunle believes Sidi is going to marry him.
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Sidi enters the square, dressed beautifully and carrying a bundle and the magazine. The crowd goes silent in awe of her beauty as she approaches Lakunle and hands him the magazine. She says her fingers weren't strong enough to tear the magazine up and she tells the crowd it's time to go. Turning back to Lakunle, she tells him that he's invited and can come too. Lakunle, in awe of her beauty, says that of course he's invited since he's the groom.
Sidi is still beautiful and commands attention, but this time she indicates that she's not in control of her beauty or her image when she says she couldn't physically tear up the magazine. By giving Lakunle the magazine, she fully gives up any power she enjoyed from the photographs. The images proved to possess power beyond her control.
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Sidi looks surprised and asks if Lakunle really thought she'd marry him after sleeping with Baroka. She asks how she could possibly choose a younger man after experiencing the wonders of an older man. Lakunle tries to stop her, but Sidi shoves him to the ground and says that Baroka gave her the strength of his age. She says that when Lakunle is 60, he'll certainly be long dead.
Sidi chooses tradition over modernity by choosing Baroka. Baroka showed her that tradition can truly be fulfilling, while Lakunle represents that progress is fast moving and ever changing (hence his death by age 60). Tradition gives her something to rely on, while modernity offers no such comfort.
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Sidi kneels before Sadiku and asks Sadiku to bless her fertility. Sadiku does and accepts Sidi's offered bundle. Sidi stands, turns to the musicians, and asks them to sing her to Baroka's home. The musicians take up a festive song and everyone in the market dances. A young woman teases Lakunle and dances suggestively in front of him. He chases her. Sadiku tries to block his way, but Lakunle evades her and continues to pursue the girl. Sidi and the musicians sing and dance.
The fact that Lakunle so quickly turns his attention to another woman suggests that his modern view of marriage is something that any woman willing to marry him can fulfill. It shows that it mattered more to him to convince Sidi to agree with him than it did to actually marry her. It also stands as a final confirmation that women are objects to be chased and possessed, not full people.
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