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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Compare and contrast the speech of Lakunle and Baroka in The Lion and the Jewel.

Quick answer:

Lakunle speaks directly and often impulsively, driven by emotions and a belief in the superiority of his perspectives, whereas Baroka speaks thoughtfully and deliberately to manipulate situations to his advantage. Both men are confident in their views, but Lakunle's speech is impetuous and controlling, while Baroka's is calculated and persuasive, reflecting their differing approaches to achieving their goals in the play.

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Lakunle speaks directly and often without respect or thought; Baroka is more thoughtful and cautious with his words to help him achieve his goals. Both men, however, speak with the confidence that comes from believing that your perspective is the right one.

Lakunle begins the play by telling Sidi what she should be doing rather than respecting her autonomy. He tells her what she should wear, how she should carry her water, and how she should marry him without the bride price. To Lakunle, his ideas and perspectives are the best and make the most sense. He speaks with this kind of impetuous tone to many during the play. It's clear that his emotions control him and that his desire for Sidi, jealousy of others, and concerns about the traditions of the village are what drives him.

Baroka, on the other hand, uses words more slowly and deliberately. He says things to get people to do what he wants. For example, rather than insisting that Sidi marry him, he convinces her that he's a good choice by showing her his vision for the future of the village in a way that appeals to her personal vanity. Baroka is more fully aware of himself and his place in the village than Lakunle is; at one point, Lakunle tells Baroka that playing with others is below his position and Baroka responds that without the fun, life would be dull.

Lakunle speaks with fiery youth while Baroka speaks with learned experience. Their ways of speaking mirror their actions in the play as Baroka convinces Sidi to marry him rather than Lakunle.

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