Study Guide

The Lion King Society and Class

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Society and Class

GOPHER: Sir, news from the underground.

ZAZU: Sire! Hyenas! In the Pride Lands!

When Mufasa and Simba are going for their morning stroll, Mufasa receives this panicked news from a small gopher who appears to be in his employ. Mufasa dashes off to chase the hyenas away as we learn that they are definitely not allowed in the kingdom.

ZAZU: Wait till you're king … then you can chase those mangy, stupid pooches from dawn until dusk.

Zazu has an extremely low opinion of the hyenas.

ZAZU: An elephant graveyard is no place for a young prince.

The elephant graveyard is a space typically occupied by the hyenas. Zazu deems Simba too well-bred and/or vulnerable to go there.

SHENZI: Do you know what we do to kings who step out of their kingdom?

Shenzi is wary of lions trespassing in the elephant graveyard, perhaps as a result of abuses done by lions to hyenas in the past.

SHENZI: You're Mufasa's little stooge.

And Shenzi doesn't have a super high opinion of Zazu, either. It's all just a matter of perspective.

SHENZI: Look at you guys! No wonder we're dangling at the bottom of the food chain!

Shenzi berates her hyena friends in what can only be described as an act of self-hatred.

SHENZI: Mufasa … I just hear that name, and I shudder.

It is widely known throughout the animal kingdom that Mufasa is the most powerful guy around. His social status ranks above all the rest.

SCAR: It's clear from your vacant expressions that the lights are not all on upstairs.

More hyena-bashing: Scar is telling his would-be collaborators that they're stupid.

TIMON: Hyenas … I hate hyenas.

Hatred of hyenas has even spread to Timon and Pumbaa, otherwise loving creatures who live in a remote part of the Pride Lands.

TIMON: Pumbaa, are you nuts? You're talking about a lion! Lions eat guys like us!

Timon acknowledges that he and Pumbaa are typically thought of as weaker and/or "lower" than the lions.

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