Analysis Of Mariama Ba's 'So Long A Letter'

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Is the bond between a mother and her child always the strongest? Mariama Ba investigates this question within her epistolary novel, So Long a Letter, in which the main character, a recent widow named Ramatoulaye, writes a letter to her best friend Aissatou. In the letter, Ramatoulaye retells her experience in a polygamous marriage then raising her children alone in postcolonial Senegal. Ramatoulaye constantly faces the conflict between tradition versus modernism as she transforms into an independent mother, and disregards others’ thoughts. Despite the idea that common practices like polygamy and gender inequality prosper in Senegal, Ramatoulaye expresses that she detests these practices. Through Ramatoulaye’s feelings and actions, Ba highlights that a mother must abandon social norms and act independently to effectively support her children. Through this process, Ramatoulaye better understands motherhood and flourishes a healthy bond between her and her children. Ramatoulaye first challenges social norms by the refusal to remarry after her husband’s death. Although unusual for a woman Ramatoulaye’s age to remain single in Senegalese culture, Ramatoulaye still expresses her desire to remain a single mother. …show more content…
Ramatoulaye battles between is seen There is no doubt that any mother will struggle when attempting to raise her children, especially if said mother is to do so independently. Therefore, Ba wrote So Long a Letter to convey the various values that mothers and their children alike must consider in order to ensure the flourishment of a family. These values include compassion, independence, and tolerance, as exhibited by Ramatoulaye through the decisions she makes. Despite being raised in a more progressive era, Ramatoulaye accepts that motherhood is a reciprocal process. Through these values, Ramatoulaye’s perception of motherhood is reinvigorated and her family continues to

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