So Long a Letter - Essay

Topics: Gender, Marriage, Wife Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: April 9, 2013
So long a letter.
How has the author depicted cultural and social aspects about gender through the characters in ‘So long a letter’? Throughout the book Mariama Bâ has used Rich, poetic language. Feminism is one of the major themes in this book. Mariama Bâ used many situations all through the book to bring out the gender differences in the society and Senegalese culture. She brought out most of this through the main character: Ramatoulaye. Ramatoulaye is in the transitory generation, where there are many clashes between modernisation and traditionalism opinions. She shows both of these from the decisions that she takes in the book. This essay will talk about how the author showed cultural and social aspects about gender through the characters in ‘So long a letter’.

The book is in from the point of view of Ramatoulaye, who is married to Modou. When Modou leaves Ramatoulaye for a younger woman the society and both culture allow this, without any accusations on the men. On the opposite side, if a married woman even looks at the man then the society would look down at the women and the culture wouldn’t allow this. When Modou Fall left Ramatoulaye for a younger woman, this is usually something wrong, but when he did this both the society and the culture accepted this. Though is the women would do the same thing, then both the society and culture would disagree with this type of decision. The culture states that men can marry more than once, and in the society this is a common practice. This is one of the examples that in which the author indicates the differences in gender, through both the culture and society.

Another big issue that is brought out in this book, is how men can treat women in any way that they wish, but the women should always obey what the men says. It is almost like the women is a servant of the men, who can be told anything, and treated badly but still have to follow whatever the ‘master’ orders. Even though Modou left Ramatoulaye 5 years...
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