Theme Of Pygamy In So Long A Letter

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“You think the problem of polygamy is a simple one. Those who are involved In it know the constraints, the lies, the injustices that weigh down their consciences In return for the ephemeral joys of change, I am sure you are motivated by love, a love that existed well before your marriage and that fate has not been able to satisfy.” I think this quotation captures the true essence of the novel and represents the central conflict. Two of the plot lines in Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter revolve around the effect of polygamy. The issue of polygamy also remains one of the central issues in the book. In a letter which is written to her friend Aissatou Bâ, Ramatoulaye Fall describes how her husband decides to take a second wife Binetou. In the course…show more content…
Modou in this case turns to religion he says that “god intended him to have a second wife, that “there is nothing he can do about it”. However upon reading the novel, it seems to suggest that the fault lay in the character of Modou, after all his Ramatoulayes mother never seems to have trusted Modou in the first place The little we do get to know about Modou seems to suggest that he was very much concerned with physical appearances, he foolishly spend money to show that he “lived it up”, he even mortgaged the house in which Ramatoulaye lived in to pay for the new “SICAP” villa. Ramatoulaye also makes it very clear to the reader that it is only the “spiteful” people who believed that Modou sold out the workers he represented as a trade union leader, even though Ramatoulaye provides a very real picture on Senegalese culture and her own life, I think in this case it can be argued that she may be a biased observer .Of what we know aboutModou, his need for money, and to show off could have driven him to become a corrupt person. It is quite possible that he did quell "the trade union revolt ' ' to become the technical adviser in the Ministry of Public…show more content…
Hence the reader can clearly see that this marriage took place due to family obligations, the daughter of a goldsmith Aissatou had never won the approval of Aunty Nabou. Aissatou’s reaction to this betrayal is completely contrasting to that of Ramatoulaye; she decides to break with her husband, to abolish the traditions and customs. She then decides to leave Africa altogether and move to America to work in the Senegalese embassy. Unlike Modou, Mawdo responds very differently to entering a polygamous relationship. Even after getting married to Young Nabou, Mawdo’s happiness is destroyed by his polygamy .His reasons for marrying Young Nabou are very different than those of Modou,unlike Modou he did not marry her out of any personal gain, nor because he was attracted to her though Mariama Bâ does suggest that maybe he did not really “want to fight” that “Young Nabou was so tempting” Contrasting to Modou, Mawdo did not drive Aissatou away, he did his duty and wished that Aissatou would stay on , It was Aissatou whom he loved and not Young Nabou. This is apparent as he says “he was completely disorientated” and where he looked him only found

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