So Long a Letter Themes

Mariama Ba
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Money as Power

Money runs through the many currents of this story - freedom, marriage, loyalty, choices, family. The movement to emancipate women consistently encounters the same stumbling block: money. With women uneducated and in their houses, they remain dependent on their husbands for all of their needs. Binetou and young Nabou will always be tied to their husbands - they won’t have the means should they ever choose to leave. Aunty Nabou ensured Nabou’s limited education, and Binetou’s mother drove her to marriage for the sake of money.

The tradition of giving the visitors money when they leave the mourner’s house is an expensive tradition and impractical for someone who has just lost the breadwinner of the house.

Modou betrays Rama by using their joint house as collateral for his new home, and by cutting her off from all funds.

Social Progress

Senegal is...

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This section contains 460 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the So Long a Letter Study Guide
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