`` So Long A Letter, By Mariama Ba, Ramatoulaye And Her Friend Essay example

`` So Long A Letter, By Mariama Ba, Ramatoulaye And Her Friend Essay example

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In Senegal, there are certain expectations a woman must up hold to be viewed as a productive member of society. Senegalese women are expected to take care of their children, take care of their home, and be a doting wife. A good Senegalese woman is strong in her faith and partakes in the traditional ways of life. In the novel, So Long a letter by Mariama Ba, Ramatoulaye and her friend, Aissatou, are two very strong women. Both of their husbands decide to marry another wife. Aissatou and Rama both react in different ways. Rama decides to stay in the marriage even though her husband chooses to ignore his first family and focus most of his attention on his new wife, Binetou. Although being ignored and treated as if she is not there is tough, Rama makes the most of it by praying and focusing on her kids, and trying to put on a brave face. Aissatou does the complete opposite, she divorces her husband because she is so distraught that her husband would take on another wife when he already has one. Both women can make their own decision about their personal life. The writer, Ba, wants the reader to feel sad for the two women in happy marriages turned unhappy by the addition of another woman. By making the reader feel sad for the women in the situation of becoming a sister wife, Ba shows her beliefs that having a second wife can destroy a marriage.
Being a feminist means wanting equal rights for both men and women. It does not mean making women superior, just equal. Rama has quite a few feminist views. In So Long a Letter she talks to one of her possible suitors from when she was younger, a man named Daouda Dieng. Rama tells him, “We have a right, just as you have, to education, which we ought to be able to pursue to the furthest limit...


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...ing out their husbands have taken on another wife. Although they show their strength in drastically different ways, it is present in both women. Ramatoulaye’s religion is very important to her. After her husband, the husband who took in another wife while married to her, she prayed for him every day and eventually forgave him. She is a woman who also lives by her Islamic faith. For example, when Aissatou finally came back to Senegal after being in America for a while Rama said no matter how Aissatou is after being in western culture she is going to treat her with the traditional values and lifestyle. But, on the other hand she is willing to shy away from her traditional values for the sake of her family. Ramatoulaye does take care of her twelve children, takes care of her house, still tries to be the doting wife she’s supposed to be, and sticks to her Islamic faith.

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