Columbia The Lion and the Jewel, Rabindranath Tagore & A Feast for the Holy Man Stories Analysis There are many PDFs down here, however, you only have to p

Columbia The Lion and the Jewel, Rabindranath Tagore & A Feast for the Holy Man Stories Analysis There are many PDFs down here, however, you only have to pick 1 paragraph from each and quote them. For each Paragraph, you should write a 5-8 sentences analysis. DO NOT FORGET TO PUT THE PAGE NUMBER OF IT Publication Information: Book Title: The Lion and the Jewel. Contributors: Wole Soyinka – author. Publisher: Oxford University Pre
Place of Publication: London. Publication Year: 1963. Page Number: 64.
Wole Soyinka
LONDON Oxford University Press IBADAN 1963
Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com
Publication Information: Book Title: The Lion and the Jewel. Contributors: Wole Soyinka – author.
Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of Publication: London. Publication Year: 1963. Page Number: *.
Oxford University Press, Amen House, London E.C.4 GLASGOW NEW YORK TORONTO
© Wole Soyinka 1962
This play is fully protected by copyright and all applications for public performance should
be made to Oxford University Press, Amen House, Warwick Square, London, E.C.4.
Cover designed by Taj Ahmed
SIDI the Village Belle
LAkUNLE School teacher
BAROKA the ‘Bale’ of Ilujinle
SADIKU His head wife
Musicians, Dancers, Mummers, Prisoners, Traders, the VILLAGE
A clearing on the edge of the market, dominated by an immense ‘odan’ tree. It is the
village centre. The wall of the bush school flanks the stage on the right, and a rude
window opens on to the stage from the wall. There is a chant of the ‘Arithmetic Times’
issuing from this window. It begins a short while before the action begins. Sidi enters from
left, carrying a small pail of water on her head. She is a slim girl with plaited hair. A true
village belle. She balances the pail on her head with accustomed ease. Around her is
wrapped the familiar broad cloth which is folded just above her breasts, leaving the
shoulders bare.
Almost as soon as she appears on the stage, the schoolmaster’s face also appears at the
window. (The chanting continues — ‘Three times two are six’, ‘Three times three are nine’,
etc.) The teacher Lakunle, disappears. He is replaced by two of his pupils, aged roughly
eleven, who make a buzzing noise at Sidi, repeatedly clapping their hands across the
mouth. Lakunle now re-appears below the window and makes for Sidi, stopping only to
give the boys admonitory whacks on the head before they can duck. They vanish with a
howl and he shuts the window on them. The chanting dies away. The schoolmaster is
nearly twentythree. He is dressed in an old-style English suit, threadbare but not ragged,
clean but not ironed, obviously a size or two too small. His tie is done in a very small knot,
disappearing beneath a shiny black waistcoat. He wears twenty-three-inch-bottom
trousers, and blanco-white tennis shoes.
LAKUNLE: Let me take it.
LAKUNLE: Let me. [Seizes the pail. Some water spills on him.]
SIDI: [delighted.]
There. Wet for your pains.
Have you no shame?
-1LAKUNLE: That is what the stewpot said to the fire.
Have you no shame-at your age
Licking my bottom? But she was tickled
Just the same.
SIDI: The school teacher is full of stories
This morning. And now, if the lesson
Is over, may I have the pail?
LAKUNLE: No. I have told you not to carry loads
On your head. But you are as stubborn
As an illiterate goat. It is bad for the spine.
And it shortens your neck, so that very soon
You will have no neck at all. Do you wish to look
Squashed like my pupils’ drawings?
SIDI: Why should that worry me? Haven’t you sworn
That my looks do not affect your love?
Yesterday, dragging your knees in the dust
You said, Sidi, if you were crooked or fat,
And your skin was scaly like a . . .
SIDI: I only repeat what you said.
LAKUNLE: Yes, and I will stand by every word I spoke.
But must you throw away your neck on that account?
Sidi, it is so unwomanly. Only spiders
Carry loads the way you do.
SIDI: [huffily, exposing the neck to advantage.]
Well, it is my neck, not your spider.
LAKUNLE: [looks, and gets suddenly agitated.]
And look at that! Look, look at that! [Makes a general siveep in the direction of her
Who was it talked of shame just now?
How often must I tell you, Sidi, that
A grown-up girl must cover up her . . .
Her . . . shoulders? I can see quite . . . quite
A good portion of — that! And so I imagine
Can every man in the village. Idlers
All of them, good-for-nothing shameless men
Casting their lustful eyes where
They have no business . . .
SIDI: Are you at that again? Why, I’ve done the fold
So high and so tight, I can hardly breathe.
And all because you keep at me so much.
I have to leave my arms so I can use them . . .
Or don’t you know that?
LAKUNLE: You could wear something.
Most modest women do. But you, no.
You must run about 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: This is too much. Is it you, LAKUNLE,
Telling me that I make myself common talk?
When 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? You and your ragged books
Dragging your feet to every threshold
And rushing them out again as curses
Greet you instead of welcome. Is it Sidi
They call a fool — even the children -Or you with your fine airs and little sense!
LAKUNLE: [first indignant, then recovers composure.]
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.
SIDI: [furious, shakes bothfists at him.]
-3O . . . oh, you make me want to pulp your brain.
LAKUNLE: [retreats a little, but puts her aside with a very lofty
A natural feeling, arising out of envy;
For, as a woman, you have a smaller brain
Than mine.
SIDI: [madder still.]
Again! I’d like to know
Just what gives you these thoughts
Of manly conceit.
LAKUNLE: [very very, patronizing.]
No, no. I have fallen for that trick before.
You can no longer draw me into arguments
Which go above your head.
SIDI: [can’t find the right words, chokes back.]
Give me the pail now. And if you ever dare
To stop me in the streets again . . .
LAKUNLE: Now, now, Sidi . . .
SIDI: Give it or I’ll . . .
LAKUNLE: [holds on to her.]
Please, don’t be angry with me.
I didn’t mean you in particular.
And anyway, it isn’t what I say.
The scientists have proved it. It’s in my books.
Women have a smaller brain than men
That’s why they are called the weaker sex.
SIDI: [throws him off.]
The weaker sex, is it?
Is it a weaker breed who pounds the yam
Or bends all day to plant the millet
With a child strapped to her back?
LAKUNLE: That is all part of what I say.
But don’t you worry. In a year or two
You will have machines which will do
-4Your pounding, which will grind your pepper
Without it getting in your eyes.
SIDI: O-oh. You really mean to turn
The whole world upside down.
LAKUNLE: The world? Oh, that. Well, maybe later.
Charity, they say, begins at home.
For now, it is this village I shall turn
Inside out. Beginning with that crafty rogue,
Your past master of self-indulgence — Baroka.
SIDI: Are you still on about the Bale?
What has he done to you?
LAKUNLE: He’ll find out. Soon enough, I’ll let him know.
SIDI: These thoughts of future wonders — do you buy them
Or merely go mad and dream of them?
LAKUNLE: A prophet has honour except
In his own home. Wise men have been called mad
Before me and after, many more shall be
So abused. But to answer you, the measure
Is not entirely of my own coinage.
What I boast is known in Lagos, that city
Of magic, in Badagry where Saro women bathe
In gold, even in smaller towns less than
Twelve miles from here . . .
SIDI: 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. Do you not know
What name they give you here?
Have you lost shame completely that jeers
Pass you over.
LAKUNLE: No. I have told you no. Shame belongs
Only to the ignorant.
SIDI: Well, I am going.
Shall I take the pail or not?
-5LAKUNLE: Not till you swear to marry me.
[Takes her hand, instantly soulful.]
Sidi, a man must prepare to fight alone.
But it helps if he has a woman
To stand by him, a woman who . . .
Can understand . . . like you.
SIDI: I do?
LAKUNLE: Sidi, my love will open your mind
Like the chaste leaf in the morning, when
The sun first touches it.
SIDI: If you start that I will run away.
I had enough of that nonsense yesterday.
LAKUNLE: Nonsense? Nonsense? Do you hear?
Does anybody listen? Can the stones
Bear to listen to this? Do you call it
Nonsense that I poured the waters of my soul
To wash your feet?
SIDI: You did what!
LAKUNLE: 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.
SIDI: [shakes her head in bafflement.]
If the snail finds splinters in his shell
He changes house. Why do you stay?
LAKUNLE: Faith. Because I have faith.
Oh SIDI, vow to me your own undying love
And I will scorn the jibes of these bush minds
Who know no better. Swear, Sidi,
Swear you will be my wife and I will
Stand against earth, heaven, and the nine
Hells . . .
SIDI: Now there you go again.
One little thing
-6And you must chirrup like a cockatoo.
You talk and talk and deafen me
With words which always sound the same
And make no meaning.
I’ve told you, and I say it again
I shall marry you today, next week
Or any day you name.
But my bride-price must first be paid.
Aha, now you turn away.
But I tell you, Lakunle, I must have
The full bride-price. Will you make me
A laughing-stock? Well, do as you please.
But Sidi will not make herself
A cheap bowl for the village spit.
LAKUNLE: On my head let fall their scorn.
SIDI: They will say I was no virgin
That I was forced to sell my shame
And marry you without a price.
LAKUNLE: A savage custom, barbaric, out-dated,
Rejected, denounced, accursed,
Excommunicated, archaic, degrading,
Humiliating, unspeakable, redundant.
Retrogressive, remarkable, unpalatable.
SIDI: Is the bag empty? Why did you stop?
LAKUNLE: I own only the Shorter Companion
Dictionary, but I have ordered
The Longer One — you wait!
SIDI: Just pay the price.
LAKUNLE: [with a sudden shout.]
An ignoble custom, infamous, ignominious
Shaming our heritage before the world.
SIDI, I do not seek a wife
To fetch and carry,
To cook and scrub,
-7To bring forth children by the gross . . .
SIDI: Heaven forgive you! Do you now scorn
Child-bearing in a wife?
LAKUNLE: Of course I do not. I only mean . . .
Oh SIDI, I want to wed
Because I love,
I seek a life-companion . . .
‘And the man shall take the woman
And the two shall be together
As one flesh.’
Sidi, I seek a friend in need.
An equal partner in my race of life.
SIDI: [attentive no more. Deeply engrossed in counting the beads
on her neck.]
Then pay the price.
LAKUNLE: Ignorant girl, can you not understand?
To pay the price would be
To buy a heifer off the market stall.
You’d be my chattel, my mere property.
No, SIDI! [very tenderly.]
When we are wed, you shall not walk or sit
Tethered, as it were, to my dirtied heels.
Together we shall sit at table
— Not on the floor — and eat,
Not with fingers, but with knives
And forks, and breakable plates
Like civilized beings.
I will not have you wait on me
Till I have dined my fill.
No wife of mine, no lawful wedded wife
Shall eat the leavings off my plate -That is for the children.
I want to walk beside you in the street,
-8Side by side and arm in arm
Just like the Lagos couples I have seen
High-heeled shoes for the lady, red paint
On her lips. And her hair is stretched
Like a magazine photo. I will teach you
The waltz and we’ll both learn the foxtrot
And we’ll spend the week-end in night-clubs at Ibadan.
Oh I must show you the grandeur of towns
We’ll live there if you like or merely pay visits.
So choose. Be a modern wife, look me in the eye
And give me a little kiss — like this.
[Kisses her.]
SIDI: [backs away.] No, don’t! I tell you I dislike
This strange unhealthy mouthing you perform.
Every time, your action deceives me
Making me think that you merely wish
To whisper something in my ear.
Then comes this licking of my lips with yours.
It’s so unclean. And then,
The sound you make — ‘Pyout!’
Are you being rude to me?
LAKUNLE: [wearily.] It’s never any use.
Bush-girl you are, bush-girl you’ll always be;
Uncivilized and primitive — bush-girl!
I kissed you as all educated men -And Christians — kiss their wives.
It is the way of civilized romance.
SIDI: [lightly.] A way you mean, to avoid
Payment of lawful bride-price
A cheating way, mean and miserly.
LAKUNLE: [violently.] It is not.
[ Sidi bursts out laughing. LAKUNLE changes his tone to a
soulful one, both eyes dreamily shut.]
-9Romance is the sweetening of the soul
With fragrance offered by the stricken heart.
SIDI: [looks at him in wonderfor a while.]
Away with you. The village says you’re mad,
And I begin to understand.
I wonder that they let you run the school.
You and your talk. You’ll ruin your pupils too
And then they’ll utter madness just like you.
[Noise off-stage.]
There are people coming
Give me the bucket or they’ll jeer.
[Enter a crowd of youths and drummers, the girls being in
various stages of excitement.]
FIRST GIRL: Sidi, he has returned. He came back just as
he said he would.
SIDI: Who has?
FIRST GIRL: The stranger. The man from the outside world.
The clown who fell in the river for you.
[They all burst out laughing.]
SIDI: The one who rode on the devil’s own horse?
SECOND GIRL: Yes, the same. The stranger with the one-eyed box.
[She demonstrates the action of a camera amidst admiring titters.]
THIRD GIRL: And he brought his new horse right into the village
square this time. This one has only two feet. You should
have seen him. B-r-r-r-r.
[Runs around the platform driving an imaginary motor-bike.]
SIDI: And has he brought . . . ?
FIRST GIRL: The images? He brought them all. There was hardly
any part of the village which does not show in the book.
[Clicks the imaginary shutter.]
SIDI: The book? Did you see the book?
Had he the precious book
That would bestow upon me
Beauty beyond the dreams of a goddess?
-10For so he said.
The book which would announce
This beauty to the world -Have you seen it?
THIRD GIRL: Yes, yes, he did. But the Bale is still feasting his eyes
on the images. Oh, Sidi, he was right You are beautiful.
On the cover of the book is an image of you from here
[touches the top of her head] to here [her stomach]. And in the
middle leaves, from the beginning of one leaf right across
to the end of another, is one of you from head to toe. Do
you remember it? It was the one for which he made you
stretch your arms towards the sun. [Rapturously.] Oh, Sidi,
you looked as if, at that moment, the sun himself had
been your lover. [They all gasp with pretended shock at this
blasphemy and one slaps her playfully on the buttocks.]
FIRST GIRL: The Bale is jealous, but he pretends to be proud of
you. And when this man tells him how famous you are in
the capital, he pretends to be pleased, saying how much
honour and fame you have brought to the village.
SIDI: [with amazement.] Is not Baroka’s image in the book at all?
SECOND GIRL: [contemptuous.] Oh yes, it is. But it would have
been much better for the Bale if the stranger had omitted
him altogether. His image is in a little corner somewhere
in the book, and even that corner he shares with one of
the village latrines.
SIDI: Is that the truth? Swear! Ask Ogun to
Strike you dead.
GIRL: Ogun strike me dead if I lie.
SIDI: If that is true, then I am more esteemed
Than Bale Baroka,
The Lion of Ilujinle.
This means that I am greater than
The Fox of the Undergrowth,
The living god among men . . .
-11LAKUNLE: [peevishly.] And devil among women.
SIDI: Be silent, you.
You are merely filled with spite.
LAKUNLE: I know him what he is. This is
Divine justice that a mere woman
Should outstrip him in the end.
SIDI: Be quiet;
Or I swear I’ll never speak to you again.
[Affects sudden coyness.]
In fact, I am not so sure I’ll want to wed you now.
SIDI: Well, why should I?
Known as I am to the whole wide world,
I would demean my worth to wed
A mere village school teacher.
LAKUNLE: [in agony.] Sidi!
SIDI: And one who is too mean
To pay the bride-price like a man.
LAKUNLE: Oh, Sidi, don’t!
SIDI: [plunging into an enjoyment of Lakunle’s misery.]
Well, don’t you know?
Sidi is more important even than the Bale.
More famous than that panther of the trees.
He is beneath me now -Your fearless rake, the scourge of womanhood!
But now,
He shares the corner of the leaf
With the lowest of the low -With the dug-out village latrine!
While I — How many leaves did my own image take?
FIRST GIRL: Two in the middle and
SIDI: No, no. Let the school teacher count!
How many were there, teacher-man?
LAKUNLE: Three leaves.
-12SIDI: [threateningly.] One leaf for every heart that I shall break.
[Leaps suddenly into the air.]
Hurray! I’m beautiful!
Hurray for the wandering stranger!
CROWD: Hurray for the Lagos man!
SIDI: [wildly excited.] I know. Let us dance the dance of the lost
SHOUTS: Yes, let’s.
SIDI: Who will dance the devil-horse?
You, you, you and you.
[The four girls fall out.]
A python. Who will dance the snake?
Ha ha! Your eyes are shifty and your ways are sly.
[The selected youth is pushed out amidst jeers.]
The stranger. We’ve got to have the being
From the mad outer world . . . You there,
No, you have never felt the surge
Of burning liquor in your milky veins.
Who can we pick that knows the walk of drunks?
You? . . . No, the thought itself
Would knock you out as sure as wine . . . Ah!
[Turns round slowly to where Lakunle is standing with a
kindly, fatherly smile for the children at play.]
Come on book-worm, you’ll play his part.
LAKUNLE: No, no. I’ve never been drunk in all my life.
SIDI: We know. But your father drank so much,
He must have drunk your share, and that
Of his great grandsons.
LAKUNLE: [tries to escape.] I won’t take part.
SIDI: You must.
LAKUNLE: I cannot stay. It’s nearly time to take
Primary four in Geography.
SIDI: [goes over to the window and throws it open.]
-13Did you think your pupils would remain in school
Now that the stranger has returned?
The village is on holiday, you fool.
LAKUNLE: [as they drag him towards the platform.]
No, no. I won’t. This foolery bores me.
It is a game of idiots. I have work of more importance.
SIDI: [bending down over Lakunle who has been seated forcibly on the platform.]
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!
This chant is taken up by all and they begin to dance round Lakunle, speaking the words in
a fast rhythm. The drummers join in after the first time, keeping up a steady beat as the
others whirl round their victim. They go faster and faster and chant faster and faster with
each round. By the sixth or seventh, Lakunle has obviously had enough.]
LAKUNLE: [raising his voice above the din.] All right! I’ll do it.
Come now, let’s get it over with.
[A terrific shout and a clap of drums. Lakunel enters into the spirit of the dance with
enthusiasm. He takes over from Sidi, stations his cast all over the stage as the jungle,
leaves the right top-stage clear for the four girls who are to dance the motor-car. A mime
follows of the visitor’s entry into Ilujinle, and his short stay among the villagers. The four
girls crouch on the floor, as four wheels of a car. Lakunel directs their spacing, then takes
his place in the middle, and sits on air. He alone does not dance. He does realistic miming.
Soft throbbing drums, gradually swelling in volum…
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