How would you interpret Sidi’s decision to marry Baroka

Question: How would you interpret Sidi’s decision to marry Baroka? Or, comment on the end of the play “The Lion and Jewel”.


It is universal that morning shows the day and does not always follow your curiosity. In the play “The Lion and the Jewel”, Wole Soyinka has shown through dramatic irony how the beginning affects the end. The audience of the drama can feel from the very outset of the drama that Sidi will have to submit herself to the village Bale Baroka since the lion never misses his target.

Dramatic irony

The ending of the play transparently exposes dramatic irony since the audience thinks Sidi will come back after mocking Baroka’s impotency, but the result is just the opposite. Having been raped by the Bale, Sidi returns to Lakunle and declares that all is finished. Lakunle who wants to modernize his village proposes to Sidi for marriage to apply his modern idea but there is no respect and love in his proposal. That is why Sidi rejects Lakunle and adheres to her traditional belief.

“They will say I was no virgin,

that I was forced to sell my shame and marry you without price”.

Thus, Sidi’s decision to marry Baroka secures a long-term win for tradition in African society.

Defeat of the agent of modernism

Sidi’s decision by the end of the play shows that the modern delegate is defeated by traditional values. Lakunle is overcome with emotion when he is informed by Sadiku that Sidi is preparing for the wedding. Now Lakunle is very pleased and says that he needs a day or two days to get prepared for a Christian marriage. At this very moment, the musicians appear and inform Lakunle that Sidi has told them to invite him to her wedding that is going to be between Sidi and Baroka.

Definition of manhood

At the closing of the drama, Sidi’s decision to marry Baroka proves the defined manhood in African society. Baroka is the lion of the title that is well matched because of his lion-like nature from two perspectives. He at first degrades himself as impotent to make a trap for his victim. He declares secretly to Sadiku that he has been impotence a week ago.

“I have told this to no one but you, who is my eldest,

my most faithful one but if you dare parade my shame before the world”.

Then Baroka has been able to prove him that he is still young and prolific though he is 62 years. He has a hired wrestler in time of fixing match to show his manhood in front of a young lady. On the other hand, Sidi is only about 18 or 19 years old and Lukenle is certainly 23 years old. But Sidi decides to marry Baroka instead of Lakunle.

Lack of convincing delegate

Sidi’s decision surely indicates a matter of lack of perfect agent of modernism. Without proper delegate and well-mannered agent victory is not only impossible but also out of touch. Lakunle is an arrogant man who does not possess any manner and psychological exactness at all. From top to bottom his attitude towards Sidi is disparaging.

“A natural feeling, arising out of envy; for as a woman, you have smaller brain than mine”.

Such a superficial man can never win hearts of human beings. Sidi’s reaction makes it transparent how much imperfect Lkenle is:

“You and your ragged books dragging your feet to every threshold and rushing out

…’re man and I begin to understand”.


Now the issue of Sidi’s decision to marry Baroka by the edge of the drama is to say ensuring and securing the victory of traditional values. It also asserts that nobody can compromise with his or her principles.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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