At the beginning of the play, Lakunle urges Sidi to not carry loads of water on her head and to dress more modestly. Sidi responds by criticizing Lakunle and saying that everyone calls him the madman from Ilujinle. She says that people curse him for his big words with no meaning and that everyone considers him a fool, even the children. Lakunle tells Sidi that his progressive ideas are accepted in Lagos and other advanced villages. Sidi asks him if he is aware of what they call him in the village. She also asks if Lakunle has no shame when he hears the people jeer at him throughout the town. She goes on to tell him that people think he is mad and questions why they let him run the school. She tells him that he's ruining his pupils, and they will eventually utter madness like he does. The reason the villagers think Lakunle is mad is because he neglects traditional customs and favors modern Western civilization. Lakunle is interested in reading, writing, and supports progressive thoughts. His values are different from his neighbors' which is why he is viewed as a madman.