The Lion and the Jewel

by

Wole Soyinka

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Crowns Books edition of The Lion and the Jewel published in 1997.
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Morning Quotes

Lakunle: You could wear something.
Most modest women do. But you, no.
You must run around naked in the streets.
Does it not worry you... the bad names,
The lewd jokes, the tongue-licking noises
Which girls, uncovered like you,
Draw after them?

Sidi: ...Is it Sidi who makes the men choke
In their cups, or you, with your big loud words
And no meaning?

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle (speaker)
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

For that, what is a jewel to pigs?
If now I am misunderstood by you
And your race of savages, I rise above taunts
And remain unruffled.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

Well go there. Go to these places where
Women would understand you
If you told them of your plans with which
You oppress me daily.

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

Wasted! Wasted! Sidi, my heart
Bursts into flowers with my love.
But you, you and the dead of this village
Trample it with feet of ignorance.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

A savage custom, barbaric, out-dated,
Rejected, denounced, accursed,
Excommunicated, archaic, degrading,
Humiliating, unspeakable, redundant.
Retrogressive, remarkable, unpalatable.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

Ignorant girl, can you not understand?
To pay the price would be
To buy a heifer off the market stall.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

It's never any use.
Bush-girl you are, bush-girl you'll always be.
Uncivilized and primitive—bush-girl!

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

You are dressed like him
You look like him
You speak his tongue
You think like him
You're just as clumsy
In your Lagos ways—
You'll do for him!

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle, The Stranger
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
Noon Quotes

My name is Sidi, and I am beautiful.
The stranger took my beauty
And placed it in my hands.

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle, Baroka, Sadiku, The Stranger
Related Symbols: The Magazine
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

Baroka merely seeks to raise his manhood
Above my beauty
He seeks new fame
As the one man who has possessed
The jewel of Ilujinle!

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Baroka
Related Symbols: The Magazine
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

They are lies, lies. You must not believe everything you hear. Sidi, would I deceive you? I swear to you...

Related Characters: Sadiku (speaker), Sidi, Baroka
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

Voluptuous beast! He loves this life too well
To bear to part from it. And motor roads
And railways would do just that, forcing
Civilization at his door.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Baroka
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Night Quotes

Like the foolish top you think the world revolves around you... fools! fools! it is you who run giddy while we stand still and watch, and draw your frail thread from you, slowly, till nothing is left but a runty old stick.

Related Characters: Sadiku (speaker), Baroka
Related Symbols: The Statue of Baroka
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

For though you're nearly seventy,
Your mind is simple and unformed.
Have you no shame that at your age,
You neither read nor write nor think?

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sadiku
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Ah, I forget. This is the price I pay
Once every week, for being progressive.
Prompted by the school teacher, my servants
Were prevailed upon to form something they call
The Palace Workers' Union. And in keeping
With the habits—I am told—of modern towns,
This is their day off.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Lakunle
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:

Did she not, perhaps... invent some tale?
For I know Sadiku loves to be
All-knowing.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Sadiku
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

To think that once I thought,
Sidi is the eye's delight, but
She is vain, and her head
Is feather-light, and always giddy
With a trivial thought. And now
I find her deep and wise beyond her years.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

I do not hate progress, only its nature
Which makes all roofs and faces look the same.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi
Related Symbols: The Magazine, Postage Stamps
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

The old must flow into the new, Sidi,
Not blind itself or stand foolishly
Apart. A girl like you must inherit
Miracles which age alone reveals.

Related Characters: Baroka (speaker), Sidi, Lakunle
Related Symbols: Postage Stamps
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

Dear Sidi, we shall forget the past.
This great misfortune touches not
The treasury of my love.
But you will agree, it is only fair
That we forget the bride-price totally
Since you no longer can be called a maid.

Related Characters: Lakunle (speaker), Sidi, Baroka, Sadiku
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

A present from Sidi.
I tried to tear it up
But my fingers were too frail.

Related Characters: Sidi (speaker), Lakunle
Related Symbols: The Magazine
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.