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'So Long a Letter' - Compare and contrast the lives of Ramatoulaye and Aissatou up to the end of Chapter 16, paying particular attention to their friendship, shared idealism and marriages.
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Compare and contrast the lives of Ramatoulaye and Aissatou up to the end of Chapter 16, paying particular attention to their friendship, shared idealism and marriages.
The narrator of 'So Long a Letter' is Ramatoulaye, who is writing to her friend Aissatou. Both women's lives are strikingly similar, or as Ramatoulaye says they 'developed in parallel.'1 Ramatoulaye and Aissatou were friends from the time they were children. They both were well educated and both got married. Both their husbands remarried, which caused both pain and unhappiness. At this point their lives diverge, in the way they deal with their unfaithful husbands and how they change the courses of their lives.
The friendship between Ramatoulaye and Aissatou's families goes back to the time when their grandmothers would 'exchange messages daily.'2 Ramatoulaye and Aissatou were also always best friends. Both women were well educated and both women choose to become teachers and serve society. As Ramatoulaye says, 'teachers are a noble army accomplishing daily feats, never praised, never decorated.'3 Their friendship and common idealism acts like a thread that ties and unites Ramatoulaye and Aissatou together. Throughout chapters one to sixteen, the intimacy between them is evident.
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