The Lion and the Jewel Questions and Answers
by Wole Soyinka

The Lion and the Jewel book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Wole Soyinka present women in the play The Lion and the Jewel?

Expert Answers info

James Cooper eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write7 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

In The Lion and the Jewel, women are considered the second sex, inherently meant for serving men. Unlike other men in his society, Lakunle seeks a woman to be his life partner, and not because of her abilities to cook, clean, and fetch water. Sidi is firmly rooted in tradition and asserts that any marriage is possible provided the dowry is paid. She rejects Lakunle’s advances even though he is well-educated and civilized. Wole Soyinka, through the character of Sidi, portrays women as ignorant and old-fashioned.

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

Women are also portrayed as submissive and lesser beings in society who are not supposed to make decisions. Lakunle is planning to “civilize” Sidi by marrying her, without considering her desires and feelings. Lakunle’s remark to Sidi, “as a woman, you have a smaller brain than mine,” presents women as unintelligent.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,646 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The title gives a strong hint about how women...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 612 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,095 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial