Give an account of the dance of the lost stranger and how it contributes to the development of the play

Give an account of the dance of the lost stranger and how it contributes to the development of the play.

Give an account of the dance of the lost stranger and how it contributes to the development of the play.

The dance of the lost stranger in Wole Soyinka’s play “The Lion and the Jewel” plays a significant role in the development of the overall plot and themes. This captivating and symbolic dance sequence helps to highlight the clash between tradition and modernity while exploring the power dynamics within the village of Ilujinle.

The lost stranger, a white man who represents modern Western influence and civilization, arrives in Ilujinle. His presence incites curiosity and excitement among the villagers, especially among the younger generation. They are fascinated by his different appearance, attire, and seemingly magical gadgets.

Amusa, the village postman, takes it upon himself to be the guide for the stranger and eagerly leads him through the village. The stranger, while initially lost and disoriented, soon reveals himself to be well-versed in contemporary dance. He takes advantage of the villagers’ enthusiasm and engages them in a dance, mesmerizing everyone with his graceful movements and unfamiliar style.

The dance of the lost stranger becomes a spectacle that draws the attention of the entire village. The villagers watch in awe as this foreigner showcases a dance that embodies a new form of expression, one that goes against their traditional dance routines. The stranger’s dance symbolizes the intrusion of modernity into the community and serves as a catalyst for change.

The dance also serves as a metaphorical battle between the old and the new. Sidi, the village belle and the object of desire for both the stranger and the traditional Bale (chief), becomes torn between the allure of modernity represented by the stranger and the familiarity of her own cultural heritage. The village men, including the Bale and Lakunle, a schoolteacher and Sidi’s suitor, are threatened by the attention the stranger receives from Sidi. This envy further fuels the conflict within the story.

Through the dance of the lost stranger, Soyinka explores the clash and interplay between tradition and progress, highlighting the tensions that arise when new ideas and practices challenge established societal norms. The dance sequence helps to expose the desire for change and the struggle to preserve cultural heritage in the face of external influences.

The eventual resolution of the play’s conflicts relies heavily on the consequences of this dance. It forces the villagers to question their own values and confront their fears of losing their way of life. Ultimately, the dance of the lost stranger contributes to the development of the play by shedding light on the complexities and dilemmas faced by characters as they grapple with the forces of modernity and tradition.

Also Read: Discuss Sidi and Lakunle as mannerless characters in the play

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