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Hello this is a discussion board post. Below is Professor’s explanation for assignment. Please Answer two of questions. Thank you. the books is Ba, Mariana. Trans. Kenneth Harrow. So Long a Letter, Waveland Press, 1980. (9781577668060)
Please answer two of the following questions for the discussion board forum.
1. Mariama Ba writes So Long a Letter as a letter addressed to the narrator’s friend, Assiatou, so in terms of structure, So Long a Letter is not the typical novel. Readers (like us) end up reading the novel (or letter) as if we are Assiatou. Why do you think Ba chose to write her novel as a letter instead of as a typical narrative? What is the effect on readers when they read a letter that seems addressed to them rather than when they read a novel that simply describes what happened to the characters?
2. Early in the book, Ramatoulyae seems like a pretty progressive West African woman. She and her friend Assiatou buck tradition when they both earn their baccalaureat and become teachers. Other women criticize them for their choice to work; later, though, Ramatoulyae seems to side more so with traditional roles for women. What do you make of this apparent contradiction in her character? What does Ramatoulyae seem to be trying to work out?
3. Moudou betrays Ramatoulyae when he marries his daughter’s best friend, Binetou. He completely abandons his first wife and family and builds a new life with Binetou. Polygyny was common in Senegal when Ba wrote her novel in 1979 (indeed, the novel is based on Ba’s own life experiences.) Why or why not is polygyny compatible with the modern society Ba and other women want to see in Senegal? Polygyny is part of the Islamic tradition in Senegal. Should the Senegalese continue this religious custom or abandon it? Explain.
4. Both Assiatou and Ramatoulyae share the same experience of having their husbands take second wives. Assiatou rejects her husband and leaves him. She becomes a translator at the US/Senegal embassy, and supports herself and her children. Are you surprised when Ramatoulyae decides to remain married to her unfaithful husband, Modou? Does her remaining married to him seem compatible or incompatible with the more modern society Ramatoulyae wants?
5. In the text Ramatoulyae writes, “Even though I understand your [Assiatou’s] stand, even though I respect the stand of liberated women, I have never conceived of happiness outside marriage” (58). She later writes, “Now our society is shaken to its very foundations, torn between the attraction of imported vices and the fierce resistance of old virtues” (76). At times, Ramatoulyae seems ambivalent in her attitudes toward progress; on one hand, she appears progressive, but on the other, see appears nostalgic toward tradition. What do you make of this apparent contradiction in her character?
6. In the book, relationships between men and women appear to be changing. Both Assiatou’s husband and Ramatoulyae’s husband took second wives, but Daba’s husband appears interested only in Daba, and Ibrahima appears devoted solely to Ramatoulyae’s second oldest daughter, Assiatou (named after Ramatoulyae’s best friend, Assiatou.) Do you think relationships (and culture) really are changing in Senegal as the new generation comes to power? Why or why not?
7. Ramatoulyae makes several difficult decisions in the book, the most notable one being remaining married to her husband Moudou. What other difficult decisions does she make, and why are they difficult for her?