Rayatloue Essay

This essay has a total of 792 words and 4 pages.


Ramatoulaye is Mariama Ba’s main character in So Long a Letter. We learn about her
through reading the letter she wrote to her best friend Assiatou. Her letter describes
and speaks of all the situations she came to face in her life. From these situations, we
obtain a full portrait of Ramatoulaye, who changes from depending on love and trusting
everyone to an independent woman who cares about her own needs, and is now skeptical of
others. Her change is indicated from the time that she has meets her future husband to
the time of his death.

The first major thing one realizes about Ramatoulaye is she believes in love. She
believes there is only one person who is a true soul mate. Coming to face reality, she
soon realizes this is not true. Ramatoulaye states, “ Modou Fall knew many undefinable
things, which glorified and sealed our relationship,” (Ba 13). One can see that
Ramatoulaye feels this is her true love. She feels he is a disparate man and they should
be together forever. She speaks of how Modou Fall would call her special names that would
make her feel as if, she really mattered to him. Modou Fall stated, “ It’s you whom I
carry within me. You’re my protecting black angel. Would I could quickly find you, if
only to hold your hand tightly so that I may forget hunger and thirst and loneliness,” (Ba
14). His kind words and actions reassure her and make her worries disappear.

As their marriage continues to grow, Ramatoulaye questioned her outlook on true love.
While away in France, Ramatoulaye never thought Modou Fall would betray her nor do
anything to harm her. To her surprise, she finds he was not in love with her any longer.
She questions the meaning of true love when she hears of her husband marrying another
woman. She feels this is inexplicable. She just can not understand why he would betray
her. Modou Fall’s friend Tamsir says, “ It is fate that decides men and things: God
intended him to have a second wife, there is

nothing he can do about it. He praises you for the quarter of a century of marriage in
which you gave him all the happiness a wife owes her husband,” (Ba 37). After hearing
this news, she questions everything they had together. Confused, Ramatoulaye is full of
many unanswered questions. Ramatoulaye states, “And to think that I loved this man
passionately, to think that I gave him thirty years of my life, to think that twelve times
over I carried his child. The addition of a rival to my life was not enough for him. In
loving someone else, he burned his past, both morally and materially. He dared to commit
such an act of disavowal,” (Ba 12). At this point, she changes into a completely
different person.

The most important sign is when Ramatoulaye reviews her life after her husband’s death.
She faces this when she is to marry another man. Ramatoulaye feels that she can not trust
people, and true love no longer exists. Suddenly, she learns a man named Daouda would
like her hand in marriage. Outraged, she feels that no woman should have to go through
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