The Lion and The Jewel main character Sidi sitting in the middle of the picture wearing a striped dress with the outlines of two male faces on other side of her

The Lion and the Jewel

by Wole Soyinka
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How is the theme of patriarchal control depicted in The Lion and the Jewel?  

The theme of patriarchal control is depicted through Lakunle's belief that men are smarter than women, and through Baroka's polygamy and belief that it is acceptable to rape a woman. Sidi's belief that a bride price should be paid for her hand in marriage further advances the theme.

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Patriarchal control is a big part of Nigeria's Yoruba culture as depicted in this play, and Sidi expects to be treated in a certain way, despite being very aware of her beauty. Lakunle, for all his rejection of traditional ideas like bride prices, still believes that men are more intelligent...

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Patriarchal control is a big part of Nigeria's Yoruba culture as depicted in this play, and Sidi expects to be treated in a certain way, despite being very aware of her beauty. Lakunle, for all his rejection of traditional ideas like bride prices, still believes that men are more intelligent than women. This in itself is a sexist viewpoint that makes a statement about the power relationships between men and women.

While Sidi is arrogant enough to consider herself too good to marry the local teacher, she reinforces the theme of patriarchal control by claiming that her refusal to marry Lakunle is related to his modern thinking and unwillingness to pay a bride price.

The theme of patriarchal control is further advanced when Baroka reflects on the fact that it has been many months since he took a new wife. By its very nature, polygamy is a product of patriarchal control.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the fact that Sidi feels empowered to make choices and reject her suitors shows that patriarchal control has been overthrown, with Sidi being firmly in control of her own destiny.

The most shocking incident of patriarchal control is revealed when Sidi returns from Baroka's home and reveals that he raped her. The saddest depiction of patriarchal control in this story is that Sidi marries her rapist.

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