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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What were Lakunle's views of the villagers and traditional Yoruba culture in The Lion and the Jewel?

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Lakunle opposes traditional Yoruba culture and is a proponent of modernity throughout the village of Ilujinle. At the beginning of the play, he criticizes Sidi for carrying loads of water on her head like a spider and dressing immodestly. He also refers to the villagers of Ilujinle as a "race of savages" (Soyinka 3). Lakunle tells Sidi that he refuses to pay the bride-price and refers to it as a barbaric custom. He opposes the way women are treated according to Yoruba tradition and seeks to transform the village of Ilujinle. Later on in the play, Lakunle explains his vision for the future to Sadiku. Overall, Lakunle views traditional Yoruba culture as backward, ossified, and immoral. He also views the villagers as ignorant savages because they refuse to support change. He seeks to modernize his village like other African cities that adopt Western customs. 

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