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Conflict is a disagreement or clash between people, ideas; or in the case of our study, cultures. Therefore, culture becomes a unique and sentimental phenomenon that is not only cherished but also protected dearly by an individual as well. Thus, a literature has become the means through which cultural sentiments are projected and expressed. For a long time, Africans in particular, have been subjected to cultural imposition and displacement of western culture. This report aimed at examining the Eurocentric psyche that considers westernization superior. This study has adopted the sociological theory by focusing on Soyinka’s text; The Lion and the Jewel and Death because it best suits our study. We discussed these conflicts through societal norms and belief system, psychological conflict and generation gap.



1.0     Introduction

The intent of this study is to analyse Wole Soyinka’s play The Lion and the Jewel from the light of cultures in conflict to encourage others to read the works of African literature. The play is characterized by the conflict between cultures. This conflict exists between Lakunle the schoolteacher who is influenced by Western culture and Baroka who is uneducated and represents the traditional one. This study shows the concepts of culture that has focused on the conflicts between old and new, western and tradition. The researcher tries to highlight not only the plight of Nigerian people but the Africans continents as a whole.

In the play, there is a confrontation between the tradition and modernity. The researcher relates the modernity to the influence of British culture on Nigerian way of life. Lakunle who stands for change in the play is facing a challenge with Baroka who stands for the tradition. The conflict in this study has different sides. So, it may be as a result of generation gap, or education or age (old and new) or mind and belief. The conflict may exist among the characters themselves.

Baroka, Lakunle, and Sidi exhibit internal and external conflict with tradition and modern culture. Throughout the entire play, there is a battle between Baroka and Lakunle for Sidi‟s hand in marriage. She sees value in both of them and it is hard to choose one of them over another. So, this reveals the conflict between modern and tradition. It represents many of Nigerians of this time who are caught between two worlds and wonder which one they prefer to live in. At the end, the play shows the winner of Sidi will be one of the two Baroka who represents static and traditional values or Lakunle who seeks modernity, social changes, and hopes. Within the end of the play, victory will be for the tradition represents in Baroka by winning the girl Sidi that represents the new generation. Soyinka is one of the foremost contemporary writers and advocators of his native culture. Soyinka has written in the forms of drama, poetry, autobiography, and novel, literary and cultural and political criticism.

1.1            Purpose of Study

The study examines the conflict between cultures in Nigeria and western society as represented in Wole Soyinka’s play The Lion and the Jewel. The study shows the relationships between the different cultures. He likes traditional cultures so; he came out from all difficulties with power to enlighten his people. His upbringing reflected both African and western influences, and the conflict and interaction between these two forces occupies most of his writing. . Within his writings, he reflects the colonial and postcolonial suffering in Nigerian society. Soyinka depicts the post-colonial Africa, where modernity and tradition are in constant conflict. Thus, he creates characters who challenge themselves in an atmosphere punctuated with the defenders of modernity in one camp and those who are deeply rooted in the traditions and customs on the other side. The focus of this study is to demonstrate how Soyinka uses characters, themes, and plot to investigate the conflict between cultures. Also, the study concludes that Soyinka manages to reflect to the world that the dominated culture is the traditional one besides reflecting the view of the world, beliefs, and condition of cultures. The play, The Lion and the Jewel is set in the village of Ilunjuinle in Yoruba West Africa. Oxford University Press published the play in 1963.

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