She pensively examines the disintegration of both their marriages using introspection and striving to look backward with equanimity. Ramatoulaye is deeply offended by his crass proposal, and tells him off in front of Mawdo and the Imam. Luckily, the baby is due during the holidays, so Aissatou will be able to hide her pregnancy and avoid expulsion. View a FREE sample. Unknown 1 September at She has no say in the matter, and is exchanged like a mere commodity. Ramatoulaye decided to stay legally married, though Modou never set foot in their house again.

Read more from the Study Guide. Ramatoulaye is the true master of her fate, at least in this aspect of her life. Modou rises to the top ranks of the trade union for which he works. Meanwhile, Senegal is in the midst of achieving its independence. This letter of grief and complaint is one of the few outlets Ramatoulaye has; she has no possibility of redress. She is treated like an outsider, and is shocked when Samba begins chasing after other women—relatively standard behavior for Senegalese husbands. For one, she is a devout Muslim, and follows the dictates of her faith even when they seem to advocate the unequal treatment of women. She is also exasperated to discover that despite her professional life as a teacher, and despite the help of a few maids, the brunt of household duties still fall to her.

She notes also that her daughters have started wearing trousers, which strikes her as indecent. Get So Long a Letter from Amazon. Aissatou goes along with this for a while, but when Lettet begins to have children with young Nabou, Aissatou leaves, leaving him a letter—which Ramatoulaye reproduces for the reader—explaining in direct terms that she cannot accept his decision.

So Long a Letter Summary & Study Guide

mafiama She rejected him against the wishes of her parents, who saw Daouda as the more stable, practical option. Both Mawdo and Daba understand this to be a great injustice, and Daba wants to tell the teacher off. View a FREE sample. Ramatoulaye closes by saying that she retains hope for her future, and that she will go out in search of happiness.


Ramatoulaye did not renounce her religion or customs and she mariaja practiced many cultural traditions, yet she moved forward as a working mother and wife. Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

The author of the Ramatoulaye represents a more conservative, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps view of self-reliance. It does not bode well. Motherhood Ramatoulaye is a devoted mother to her twelve children.

Marital Love Dialogue and Address. Ramatoulaye decided to stay legally married, though Modou never set lefter in their house again. Their friendship is founded in the content of their hearts.

Ramatoulaye explains that these customary gifts once consisted of unquantifiable goods, such as livestock or millet, but now everyone simply presents the aggrieved with banknotes, and tries to one-up everyone else by giving the most cash.

Being a single parent to twelve children is no easy feat, however. Ramatoulaye was then house-bound for ;lot rest of her mourning period.

So Long a Letter Summary & Study Guide

Toward the end of her visit, she tells her ,etter that she needs a child by her side—her children have married and her house is now empty. The male mourners form a funeral procession and accompany the body to its final resting place, while the women stay behind. Much of their legal codes are from translated passages of the Qu’ran. Further, she admits that she is still devoted to Modou, despite his terrible treatment of her. The people in mariaama story speak plainly, even when heated political debate breaks out.

So Long a Letter – Wikipedia

Her children xummary, but she remained steadfast. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Daba, who is younger and more fiery, seems to favor confrontation and protest in the face of injustice. This study guide contains the following sections: Ramatoulaye cannot bring herself to agree with a practical view of marriage, choosing instead to follow her heart.

Taking heart in this story, Ramatoulaye resolves to confront her suffering head-on.

This contrast is evident in the very form of the novel. Aissatou has become pregnant out of wedlock. She pensively examines the disintegration of both sjmmary marriages using introspection and striving to look backward with equanimity. LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. Ramatoulaye is proud to be a teacher, and aware of magiama responsibilities she has; her husband, too, came back to serve the nation after studying in France without getting seduced by Europe.


She does not keep up the house in the way Aissatou had, and she is constantly receiving visitors from her hometown. Dakar, the capital city, is full of the old customs as well as the changing tide of beliefs and practices.


Man and wife are the most basic political unit, she argues, as nations are made up of families. She wonders what could have possibly caused Modou to abandon lony, not to mention their twelve children, in order to marry the year-old Binetou.

Download this Lit Guide! She writes to Aissatou that, though she respects women who take a stand against their errant husbands and leave them behind, she has never conceived of happiness outside of marriage. Still, the ease with which Farba offers up his young daughter is certainly appalling. Aunty Nabou proceeded to raise and preen young Nabou.

She reluctantly accepts his marriage proposal.

Though its extremity ,etter originates in personal anguish, it also seems to reveal that Daouda is unable to conceive of Ramatoulaye as a friend and a peer—she is only a potential mate. So Long a Letter deals with multiple themes, which includes the life of women in Senegal during the s and s, family and community life, Islam and polygamy, and death rituals. In keeping with Muslim custom, Ramatoulaye must observe a mirassea forty-day period of isolation and mourning.

View the Study Pack. As her mirasse draws to a close, she is approached by Tamsir, who announces that he will marry her. Despite this, she decided to remain married to Modou, accepting her fate as if it were a duty to fulfill.