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Trahison Dans Une Si Longue Lettre De Mariama Ba Pdf

# Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba: A Critique of Polygamy and Patriarchy in Postcolonial Senegal

Mariama Ba was a Senegalese writer and feminist who published her first and most famous novel, **Une si longue lettre** (So Long a Letter), in 1979. The novel won the prestigious Noma Award for African Literature in 1980 and has been translated into several languages. It is considered a classic of African literature and a landmark of francophone women's writing.

The novel is written in the form of a letter from Ramatoulaye, a middle-aged Senegalese widow, to her lifelong friend Aissatou, who lives in America. Ramatoulaye recounts the events that led to the death of her husband, Modou, who abandoned her and their twelve children for a younger woman, Binetou, who was Ramatoulaye's daughter's best friend. Ramatoulaye also reflects on her life, her education, her marriage, her struggles as a woman and a mother, and her hopes for the future.

The novel explores the theme of **trahison** (betrayal) on multiple levels: the betrayal of Modou to Ramatoulaye, the betrayal of Binetou to her friend and her mother, the betrayal of the post-independence Senegalese society to its ideals and values, and the betrayal of the patriarchal culture to women's rights and dignity. Ramatoulaye's letter is a way of expressing her pain, anger, resilience, and wisdom in the face of these betrayals.

One of the main critiques that the novel makes is of polygamy, which is a common practice in Senegal and other Muslim countries. Ramatoulaye denounces polygamy as a form of oppression and injustice that humiliates and marginalizes women. She questions the religious and cultural arguments that justify polygamy and exposes its negative consequences on women's physical, emotional, and economic well-being. She also challenges the double standards that allow men to have multiple wives while expecting women to be faithful and obedient.

Another critique that the novel makes is of patriarchy, which is the system of male domination and female subordination that pervades Senegalese society. Ramatoulaye criticizes the patriarchal norms and traditions that limit women's choices and opportunities in education, work, marriage, divorce, inheritance, and politics. She also resists the patriarchal pressure that tries to force her to remarry after her husband's death or to accept his second marriage as a fait accompli. She asserts her autonomy and dignity as a woman and a human being.

The novel also celebrates women's solidarity and agency as sources of strength and empowerment. Ramatoulaye draws inspiration and support from her friend Aissatou, who left her husband when he took a second wife and pursued a successful career as a diplomat. She also admires other women who defy patriarchal expectations and assert their rights, such as Jacqueline, a French woman married to a Senegalese man who suffers from depression; Daba, Ramatoulaye's eldest daughter who is a teacher and an activist; and Daouda Dieng, a former suitor of Ramatoulaye who respects her decision to remain single.

The novel ends with Ramatoulaye expressing her hope for a better future for herself, her children, her country, and Africa. She writes:

> Je reste persuadée qu'un jour viendra où je pourrai jouir pleinement de la vie sans que le souvenir de Modou me gêne ou me réjouisse. Je suis persuadée qu'un jour viendra où je pourrai parler de lui sans que ma voix se brise ou se gonfle d'orgueil. Je suis persuadée qu'un jour viendra où je pourrai penser à lui sans que mon front se plisse ou s'éclaire. (163)

> I remain convinced that one day will come when I can enjoy life fully without Modou's memory bothering me or making me happy. I am convinced that one day will come when I can talk about him without my voice breaking or swelling with pride. I am convinced that one day will come when I can think of him without my forehead wrinkling or lighting up.

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf is a powerful and poignant novel that exposes the challenges and contradictions that women face in postcolonial Senegal. It is also a testament to women's courage and resilience in overcoming these challenges and creating their own spaces of freedom and fulfillment.

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de mariama ba pdf


# Conclusion

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf is a novel that challenges the reader to rethink the role and status of women in Senegalese society and beyond. It is a novel that invites the reader to empathize with Ramatoulaye's suffering and admire her courage. It is a novel that inspires the reader to envision a more egalitarian and humane world where women and men can coexist in harmony and respect.

The novel is not only a personal story of Ramatoulaye, but also a collective story of Senegalese women and African women in general. It is a story that reflects the historical and cultural context of post-independence Senegal, where women had to cope with the legacy of colonialism, the challenges of modernization, and the tensions between tradition and change. It is a story that resonates with the universal themes of love, friendship, family, identity, and justice.

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf is a novel that deserves to be read and appreciated by anyone who is interested in African literature, women's literature, or simply human literature. It is a novel that speaks to the heart and the mind of the reader. It is a novel that has made Mariama Ba one of the most celebrated and influential writers of Africa.

# Analysis of the Novel's Form and Style

One of the most striking features of Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf is its form and style. The novel is written in the first-person singular, as a long letter from Ramatoulaye to Aissatou. This form creates a sense of intimacy and authenticity, as the reader is invited to share Ramatoulaye's thoughts and feelings. The letter also serves as a form of catharsis and therapy for Ramatoulaye, who uses writing as a way of coping with her grief and anger.

The novel is also written in a simple and elegant language, which reflects Ramatoulaye's education and eloquence. The language is rich in metaphors, symbols, and proverbs, which add depth and beauty to the narration. The language also incorporates some words and expressions from Wolof, the native language of Senegal, which gives the novel a local flavor and identity.

The novel is divided into 27 chapters, which vary in length and tone. Some chapters are short and focused on a specific event or theme, while others are longer and more reflective. Some chapters are emotional and dramatic, while others are calm and rational. The novel thus creates a dynamic and diverse portrait of Ramatoulaye's life and personality.

# Reception and Influence of the Novel

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf was an immediate success when it was published in 1979. It received positive reviews from critics and readers alike, who praised its originality, honesty, and relevance. It also won the Noma Award for African Literature in 1980, which recognized its contribution to African literature and culture.

The novel has also been widely translated and studied in various countries and contexts. It has been adapted into a film, a play, and a musical. It has been included in many academic curricula and anthologies. It has been the subject of numerous essays and books by scholars and critics.

The novel has also had a significant impact on African literature and feminism. It has inspired many other writers, especially women writers, who have followed Mariama Ba's example of giving voice to women's experiences and perspectives. It has also contributed to the development of African feminism, which seeks to address the specific issues and challenges that African women face in their societies.

Trahison dans une si longue lettre de Mariama Ba pdf is thus a novel that has transcended its time and place to become a universal and timeless work of art. d282676c82


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