Rayatloue Essay, Research Paper
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 what she went through with Modou Fall. Ramatoulaye writes to Daounda, ? Esteem is not enough for marriage, whose shares I know from experience. And then the existence of your wife and children further complicates the situation. Abandoned yesterday because of a woman, I cannot lightly bring myself between you and your family. You think the problem of polygamy is a simple one. Those who are involved in it know the constraints, the lies, the injustices that weigh down their consciences in return for the ephemeral joys of change. It is with infinite sadness and tear-filled eyes that I offer you my friendship,? (Ba 68). One can see that Ramatoulaye is clearly against betraying loved ones and has too much pride to betray anyone. Through all this, she feels love is a link between two people, but true love is hard to find.
Through all she endures, one can see Ramatoulaye grows as a person. She is now a very erudite person. She changes from a person who believes in trust and depends on love into a person who understands that loved ones will betray the people they love. She believes fate determines how one will deals with problems in their life. Ramatoulaye now is a walking advertisement for independent women and hopes that she will grow and refashion her life (Ba 89). Ramatoulaye still feels that she can learn from her life experiences, and still have a chance to search for happiness.