Symbolism: The Lion and the Jewel
The Lion and The Jewel’s Symbols:
The Jewel: Sidi is considered the Jewel of the village, exploited and exposed by the foreign photographer. Sidi was renowned for her beauty and was desired by many of the men in the village. Because of this, she was considered the Jewel of the village.
The Lion: Baroka is the chief of the village and despite his age was still sexually active and still considered manly. Baroka was searching for a new wife, and won over Sidi with his manly ways. Baroka is compared to an African symbol for strength, the lion, which could be comparable to our bear.
Lakunle: Lakunle represents the influence of western society in the village. Lakunle was taught in a western style manner and tries to promote those ideas in the minds of his hometown villagers.
The Railroad: The railroad represents western civilization advancements in technology as well. It also is a reappearance of Lakunle’s symbol. Thus it also represents the forcing of western ideas on the unwilling villagers.
Stamps: The stamps in which Baroka temps Sidi to put her face on represent the falsehoods, which Baroka tempts Sidi with.
Photographer/magazine: The magazine symbolizes the reoccurring theme of technology and western culture dominating other cultures. The magazine was also the vector for Sidi’s developing vein self-image.
Bridal Price: The bridal price represents the village’s customs, which Lakunle feels are barbaric. Sidi’s reluctance to wed without the bridal price also represents her pride. Without a bridal price she believes she would be considered de-flowered.
Sadiku: Baroka’s first wife, Sadiku, represents the initiation of Baroka’s deceitful plan to win over Sidi. Sadiku symbolizes the gossipy woman who cannot hold her tongue.
Wrestling/Drums: The wrestling and drumming taking place in Baroka’s house when Sidi enters are used to reinforce Baroka’s established masculinity which he hides in order to rape Sidi.