History And Tradition In Mariama Ba's 'So Long A Letter'

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History and tradition are the loudest and major voices heard in Mariama Ba’s “So Long a Letter.” The themesmentioned below are based on tradition, followed by the rich history behind them which is what Mariama Ba bases her characters on. She is trying to show us how these traditions and the history behind it affect people and if it can be changed. The hair removal tradition in the Senegalese culture, for instance, has been going on for as long as anyone could remember. “Her behavior is conditioned: no sister-in-law will touch the head of any wife who has been stingy, unfaithful and inhospitable” (4:2). This statement has been written like a rehearsed line, a statement that has been repeatedly taught to Ba, that she has seen so many times before and its injustice is stuck to her mind so vividly, that she made it one of the main traditions in the book which need to be changed. Another tradition in “So Long a Letter” is giving money in honor of the deceased, according to the relationships. This is another tradition that Mariama Ba has written with so much intensity, that it shows that not only she has seen it happening but has gone through it in her own family. As she writes in Ramatoulaye’s words, “In former times this contribution was made in kind: millet, livestock, rice, flour, oil, sugar, milk. Today it is made conspicuously in banknotes and no one wants to give less than the other” (6:4).We see that she is not talking against the tradition that has been going on for a

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