Here is the answer and explanation to the question “Baroka: And where would the village be, robbed of / Such wisdom as Mister Lakunle dispenses / Daily? Who would tell is where we go wrong? / Eh,…
“Baroka: And where would the village be, robbed of / Such wisdom as Mister Lakunle dispenses / Daily? Who would tell is where we go wrong? / Eh, Mister Lakunle? Sidi [Hardly listening, still in the full grip of her excitement.]: Who comes with me to find the man? / But Lakunle, you’ll have to come and find sense / In his clipping tongue. You see book-man / We cannot really do / Without your head. [Lakunle begins to protest, but they crowd him and try to bear him down. Suddenly he breaks free and takes to his heels with all the women in full pursuit.” What does this passage from The Lion and the Jewel mean?
In this section of The Lion and the Jewel, Lakunle and other villagers have been performing a dance inspired by the recent arrival of a stranger in the village. The stranger, a photographer, has recently returned, and Sidi wants Lakunle to go with her to see him, so that they can look at his photographs and Lakunle can act as a translator.
This is the end of the first section of The Lion and the Jewel, called “Morning.” The villagers have just been dancing “The Dance of the Lost Traveler,” in which Lakunle, a teacher at the village school, plays the role of “the stranger.” This dance is based on the arrival of a real stranger, a photographer, in the village. He has recently returned, and Baroka, the village chief, has been looking at the photographs he took. Baroka himself enters while they are dancing.
Immediately before this exchange begins, Sidi has praised Lakunle’s performance, saying that he should have been an actor instead of a teacher.
Baroka’s response, which opens this dialogue, is to ask what would happen to the village if it could no longer rely on Lakunle’s wisdom. Who would tell them where they were going wrong?
Sidi is too excited to pay much attention. She wants to go and seek out the real stranger so that she can look at his photographs, many of which are pictures of her. She asks Lakunle to come and translate what the photographer says. Lakunle is reluctant to go with her, but the village girls, led by Sidi, bear down on him and try to carry him off. He breaks free and runs away, and the girls run after him. This is where the passage ends.
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