Romance in Marseilles Characters

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Lafala

Lafala is the novel’s protagonist. He is based in part on a real person named nelson Simeon Dede. Lafala was born in a rural area of Senegal. At a young age, he was taken away from his home by European missionaries and was educated and raised in a mission. Lafala eventually left his home country and became a sailor. At the beginning of the novel, he stows away in a boat heading from Marseille to New York City. He is discovered on the boat and is imprisoned in a non-insulated latrine room. His legs become affected by frostbite and are amputated in a hospital in New York. He receives prosthetic legs. Lafala sues the shipping company and receives a $100,000 settlement.

Lafala then returns to Marseille to try to win the heart of Aslima, a sex worker for whom he has developed romantic feelings. Lafala’s ultimate goal...

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This section contains 1,252 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Romance in Marseilles Study Guide
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