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Mariama Ba's Response To Polygamy

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Polygamy is the condition of having more than one wife at the same time. Many African societies’ especially Muslim communities accept polygamy as part of their culture and religion. In the epistolary So Long a Letter translated by Moudupe Bode-Thomas appeared in 1979, Mariama Ba denounces the disadvantages of such practices in the independent Senegal. So long so a letter is a testimony of its protagonist, Ramatoulaye despair who shares her story as she passes from a child to a widow to her friend and sister Aissatou. However, both victims of polygamy, Ramatoulaye and Aissatou respond differently to their husbands taking a second wife as Aissatou opts for divorce while Ramatoulaye chooses to remain in her marriage. By creating these distinct…show more content…
First, through their reactions to polygamy, Ba highlights Ramatoulaye’s conservatism and Aissatou’s modernism. Ramatoulaye’s attachment to the traditions can be seen in the way that she strictly follows her husband Modou mourning ceremonials. Victim of traditions, Ramatoulaye does not rebel against them, on the contrary she follows her obligations as a widow despite Modou’s betrayal and humiliation, as she says “I hope to carry out my duties fully. My heart concurs with the demands of religion. Reared in childhood on their strict precepts, I expect not to fail” (Ba 9). Indeed her decision to remain in the marriage is predominantly affected by
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