So Long a Letter


Mariama Bâ

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So Long a Letter: Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Some days later, Daouda appears at Ramatoulaye’s door again. Once again they fall on the subject of politics, but this time Daouda redirects the conversation to the subject of marriage. He admits to Ramatoulaye that he has never stopped loving her, ever since he first tried to court her. Ramatoulaye is taken aback if not entirely surprised. She even feels, as she tells Aissatou, a little “intoxicated” by the proposal. Tactfully, Daouda tells Ramatoulaye to think about it, and then he takes his leave. On his way out, he runs into Farmata, Romatoulaye’s griot neighbor. After the brief encounter Farmata rushes back to Ramatoulaye and informs her that she’s met Ramatoulaye’s new husband, whose arrival she predicted earlier.
Daouda’s humility and tact are a breath of fresh air in comparison to Tamsir’s crass proposal. Rather than announce his intentions, Daouda presents Ramatoulaye with a choice. Still, Ramatoulaye is by no means overjoyed by the attention—at most she is slightly intrigued. Farmata’s excited reaction is somewhat absurd and, in Ramatoulaye’s eyes, overly superstitious. Ramatoulaye is the true master of her fate, at least in this aspect of her life.
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Friendship vs. Marital Love Theme Icon
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