UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA

FACULTY OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF ARTS EDUCATION

(EDUCATION/ENGLISH)

 

 

TOPIC:

THE PRESENTATION OF GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE LION & THE JEWEL AND MARRIAGE OF ANANSEWA

 

 

 

 

 

AN ASSIGNMENT

SUMBITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE COURSE: ELS 240 (MODERN COMEDY).

 

 

 

BY

ONYENWEUWA NNEOMA NWANERI

REG. NO: 2014/194886

 

 

 

 

 

 

LECTURER: MR. ODOH ONYEKA

 

 

 

 

JUNE: 2017.

 

THE PRESENTATION OF GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE LION & THE JEWEL AND MARRIAGE OF ANANSEWA

          Thus work looks on the cultural and social placement of both male and female in an African society.

          Presentation of gender and sexuality in the lion and the jewel’ by Wole Soyinka. As opposed to sex which refers to biological characteristics, gender is culture based-in the light of transitivity and critical discourse analysis, consciously or unconsciously has represented male character as strong, power and metaphorically as a lion, a symbol of irresistible power, they are also portrayed as initiator, doer of something and commander in chief, the king, while their female counterparts (Sidi, Sadiku) are represented as goals and beneficiaries of men’s actions and associated with processes of sensing and of emotion. In the lion and the jewel, women are really considered second sex, essentially created for serving men.

          The lion and the jewel is about the struggle between Baraoka, the “lion” and Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the “jewel” baroka represents traditional life and Lakunle represents western influence. Gender and sexuality in this play is very stratified and gender roles are strict. It push male dominated social norms, one a bit more blatantly than the other. The lion and the jewel is quite oppressive in its gender roles.

          In a rant from Lakunle about modern nation in a fight with a traditionalist, old woman Sadiku, he says “within a year or two, I swear thus town shall see a transformation. Bride price will be a thing forgotten and wives shall take their place by men”. (Sonyinka 36) this sound nice and oppressive, but like at the next page in the same rant and you will “we’ll by saucepans for all the women … No man shall take more wives in the kitchen and doesn’t want monogamy for equality, but so men will stop being fertile. The gender inequality in this situation is less blatant but one can still see deeply entrenched social norms that Lakunle may not even realise he is adhering to.   

          It can be stated that in the village of Illunjinle women play a subservient and domestic role as opposed to men who are expected to be authoritative and educated figures.

          Baroka had many wives polygamy shows how men can have authority and power over women by having multiple wives and making them subservient to them. Also Baroka seduced Sidi with his wise words which shows how educated and knowledgeable he is and Sidi a light brain lady who easily fall for cheap sweet words. In Illujinle’s society, women are not supposed to be as educated as men. Women are to be educated in domestic areas. Women are seen as inferior, that’s why they, play a subservient role, for instance, Sadiku Barika’s eldest wife, her job was to meet her husband’s every demand. Sadiku was convinced that she caused Baroka to become impotent; thus is proof that one of her jobs was pleasuring her husband. Women have to live a submissive life to their dominant husband’s cares and threat their bodies the way it was requested. Sidiku did whatever her husband told her to do. Men are the ones who give women roles to play in the house therefore women are considered inferior because they are to obey there husband unquestioningly. This is also seen when Sadiku goes to fetch Sidi for her husband to marry her as the next wife.

          Gender and sexuality in the text can be easily proven using two main characters “Sidi” and “Lakunle”.

          Lakunle was the village school teacher, which means he was quite well educated as opposed to Sidi, who was like many women in the society. Lakunle referred to as “Bush girls” because of their illiteracy. We see here the imbalanced spread of education between men and women in this society, men had the upper hand in education, while women were expected to look after the home and husband. Lakunle continuously belittled Sidi by making constant remarks about how she was less intelligent and weaker than he was simply because she was a woman, and he felt no remorse in saying such things to her because he felt justified in what he was saying and did not even see it as offensive. It was a common known fact to the men in the society women were worthless than men, they were uneducated and all they were worth was reproduction and servitude to the man and his household. The most unorthodox part about these conversations that Lakunle had with Sidi is that they were in an effort to obtain her as a wife. He insulted her and begged her to marry him in the same breath.

          Sidi, on the other hand did not feel a bit wounded by his remarks, she responded by reminding him of all the work women were expected to do in the community like pounding yams and carrying children and how it was ludicrous to call women the weaker sex.

          This shows how Sidi truly felt about the role of women in the society, she truly felt that there was nothing wrong with living in servitude to the men and she felt a bit proud of the fact that women were able to endure so much; she did not feel oppressed in the slightest bit, she felt that Lakunle was out of place and disrespectful for thinking of it from that angle, in her opinion the men deserved to be served and have the highest authority because that was just the norm, but that did not mean that women were worthless. Despite Lankunle’s insults, Sidi still agreed to marry him if he paid the bride price. It was as simple as that in their society there was not a lot of love and romance involved in marriage. A man simply had to pick a girl from the community that he liked and pay her family a certain price if she was a virgin. (If she wasn’t then he did not even have to) and a few years or even months later he could go out and repeat the same process again and obtain as many wives as he so desired. The woman had no say, they were just to submit to their husbands and be accepting his other wives. Overall in my opinion, in the village of Illujunle women lived in servitude to the men and the household but they did not feel oppressed by this, it was quite the opposite; they felt empowered.

          Furthermore, in the comic text “The Marriage of Anansewas” Anansewa was presented as a lady who did not have the right to make a choice of husband and a lady who can’t object or opposed his father’s opinion, she was submissive to his father in all his plans, she was servitude and subservient to his fathers will.

          Her father deceives her into typing letters that she did not know was for her own marriage in Act I. Ananse also convince his mother and aunt about the burning farm, all this shows how men exhibits power and authority over the women and also the light nature of women in absorbing things from the men without adequate verification.

          Consequently, the gender and sexuality of the two main male characters Baroka and Ananse share a resemblance, they were presented as a trickster and a picaro. They succeeded in achieving their aims over their subjects Efua portray Ananse as cunning and deceitful person, Baroka can equal be seen to be a cunning and deceitful. So the male gender ride over the women with their intelligence, power authority, deceitful and cunning nature of men which flow in their blood.

          In conclusion, the fight for gender equality in Africa is not a new phenomenon. It has been a topic of concern for years in Africa. It seems have no solution despite the rise of feminism and feminist movement, men still rock their power over the women. And it has resulted in continent gender and sexuality issue revolves around societal beliefs and preferences religious and economic factors. It encourages stereotypes with individual, family members and organisation being assigned paths without gulling a though to such thins as abilities competence and experience.