So Long a Letter Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Mariama Ba
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Aissatou respond to Mawdo's taking a second wife under pressure from his mother?

2. To whom do the wives give money?

3. How does the narrator feel about Modou taking a second wife?

4. What had the deceased bought to please his second wife?

5. Who discusses the mysteries of birth and death with the narrator?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to the relationship between Modou and his first wife, the narrator? Do you think it is Binetou's fault for how Modou handles his two marriages?

2. What evidence of Modou's negligence to his first family is there? How does the narrator react?

3. What contributed to Modou's success in his work environment?

4. What does the widow have to do after the funeral of her husband? How does she feel about this?

5. Why do you think the narrator still puts up with her in-laws who irritate her and who continue to visit despite the fact that Modou is no longer living with the narrator?

6. How do the narrator and her friends make their lives better?

7. Why does Modou go to France?

8. With what does Aissatou surprise the narrator and what is Modou's response? Does it surprise you, the reader, that another woman would give a car to a her best friend when the husband is not providing for her?

9. Why is Farmata disappointed in how Ramatoulaye handles Aissatou's pregnancy?

10. What is the response to the taking down of the hair by each wife?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much is written in this book about the fact that education is necessary for a country to grow and become strong economically and to bring about equality of the sexes. The United States educational system is said to be on the decline, which may result in the United States being less competitive in the marketplace in the future. Research educational systems in several countries around the world; choose at least one country considered to be "third world," and one labeled "Western world." Compare and contrast their educational systems. How has the availability or lack of educational opportunities helped or hurt a country's general living conditions? In your opinion, what does the United States need to do to improve their educational system?

Essay Topic 2

Forgiveness. Many people think of forgiveness as an individual act of one person forgiving someone else, as in the story when Ramatoulaye forgives first her husband for deserting her and then her daughter, Aissatou for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. This is one type of forgiveness, but let's look at forgiveness on a grander scale. Research and write an essay on how Germany was treated at the end of WWI versus the end of WWII--what were the differences?

How did the harsh treatment of Germany after WWI contribute to WWII happening, if it did--would Germany have become a different country if it had been treated with forgiveness after WWI?

Do you think that the fact that Germany, Italy, and Japan are successful nations today has to do with the forgiveness offered them after WWII--discuss whether nations be forgiven aggression after they are defeated and how much reparations should be exacted.

Essay Topic 3

Besides morality having changed in the United States, the differences between what is considered right and wrong vary from culture to culture. Research three cultures other than the United States whose predominant religions are different and learn about their ideas of right and wrong. (For example, use a country where Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism are the predominant religion). Discuss how these three cultures differ. How are they similar? Do you feel more comfortable with one culture over the other two? Why?

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