The victory of traditional values over western values

Question: Write a short note about The victory of traditional values over western values.


Cultural conflict is the central idea of the drama “The Lion and the Jewel” first performed in 1959 and published in 1962 by Oxford University Press. In his writings, Wole Soyinka intends to show that African people have rich cultural traditions and values.

Performance and dance

Yoruba opera theatre is another way of conventional life of African society. There are performances and dances in the play. The first one happens in the morning section of the drama when few young ladies of Ilujinle come to Sidi to inform her about the magazine in which Sidi has got utmost significance. Sadiku’s attitude to the dancers and performers proves her loyal to traditional values.

More Notes of The Lion of the Jewel


The dramatist has vividly sketched the polygamous tradition of the African society. Though he wants a reform of polygamy, he is at the same time ambivalent and supporter of this tradition because of creating Sadiku like submissive character. Sadiku uses such sweet words to convince Sidi to marry Baroka.

“Will you be his sweetest, princes, soothing him on weary nights?”

Bale dominated society

In the 20th century, the world is being flourished with science and technology and with huge innovative concepts, but the African society is triumphant by the powerful traditional ways of life. Local governess is of course one of the best ways of good governess but in a village-like Ilujinle, it is a permanent property for Baroka like men. The Bale can take his father’s last wife as his first wife. This system is no doubt abominable, but it is established in African society.

End of the play

The ending of the play transparently ensures the victory of tradition over modernity. Sidi who is seduced by the end of the drama gets marriage proposal without bride price from Lakunle who wants to modernize his village. But 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.


After all, it is really crystal clear that the relationship between bride-price and virginity of a girl, Yoruba opera like professional choice and so on could not be defeated and abolished from the mind of the people so easily. That is why cultural heritage is considered by people as the garment of society.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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