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Limits of A Womans place Fantasia and So Long A Letter

Limits of a Women’s Place. Throughout history women have always had to stand behind their men (whether it be rules, tradition, etc.). In almost every history context, whether it about wars or people, they have almost been written by men for men. It is not even until this century that women in this country have gained new grounds for the equality that we hope will be as substantial with men’s equality. Despite women’s hopes for equality, there is always old traditions that are so hard to be break that they sometimes keep women in inferior positions. In these two novels, Fantasia and So Long a Letter ,we will explore how the women in these novels deal with modernity and the ways in which it conflicts with some of the traditions of their society. In So Long a Letter, the main character of the novel, Ramatoulaye is coming to grips of the hardships placed upon her when her husband takes on a second wife. In Ramatoulaye’s case, we see her conflicting emotions for she considers herself a feminist modern woman, however she is still somewhat submissive to the ways of tradition. She ponders on the alternatives, yet she comes to one conclusion, to stay with her husband. Her marriage paralleled that of her good friend’s Aissatou, however Aissatou was able to forge ahead with a new life that did not involve polygamy. Armed with her education and her strong will, Aissatou did not let tradition or fear sustain her in a relationship that she deemed degrading. Aissatou is the embodiment of all the hopes that Ramatoulaye and Aissatou had when they were young, to become strong independent women who would hold their heads up high in times of hardship. Ramatoulaye is envious of her friend Aissatou who is able to cut all string of love, attachment, and fear and move onto a new life (one that is not tainted with betrayal or deceit by one’s husband). In Ramatoulaye’s letters, we wonder is there is a hint of j...

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