So Long a Letter


Mariama Bâ

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So Long a Letter Characters


Ramatoulaye is the narrator of So Long a Letter; the book is both her diary and a long letter to her friend Aissatou. Ramatoulaye belongs to the generation that grew up under the… read analysis of Ramatoulaye


Aissatou is Ramatoulaye’s old childhood friend, and the addressee of her letter. She comes from a rather poor family; her father is a goldsmith. Aissatou experiences similar trouble in her marital life—her husband takes… read analysis of Aissatou


Modou is Ramatoulaye’s husband. He is a union organizer and, like Ramatoulaye, engaged in his country’s politics. At first, the two are very deeply in love, and they marry despite the protestations of Ramatoulaye’s… read analysis of Modou


Aissatou’s husband. Mawdo is a doctor, an upstanding citizen, and a member of Senegal’s class of nobles. He and Aissatou fall in love despite the class difference between their two families. This upsets Mawdo’s… read analysis of Mawdo


Modou’s second wife, and a friend of Daba. She is only 17 when she reluctantly marries Modou. She does so at the urgings of her family, who are after Modou’s money. Binetou survives… read analysis of Binetou
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Minor Characters
Lady Mother-in-Law (Binetou’s Mother)
Binetou’s mother. She gladly reaps the benefits of Binetou’s marriage to the wealthy Modou.
Aunty Nabou
Mawdo’s mother. She is of noble birth and is extremely conservative. She is appalled when Mawdo decides to marry Aissatou. She schemes to have him marry his cousin Nabou instead.
Mawdo’s cousin and second wife. She has little say in the matter of her marriage, but Aunty Nabou thoroughly prepares her for the role. She is brought up with refined manners.
Daouda Dieng
Ramatoulaye’s old suitor. He is a member of the national assembly, a conscientious man. He proposes to Ramatoulaye again after Modou’s death, but she rejects him.
Ramatoulaye’s eldest daughter. She is fiery and independent.
Ramatoulaye’s wacky, conservative neighbor. She is a griot, a kind of fortune teller.
Aissatou (Aissatou’s Namesake, Aissatou II)
Ramatoulaye’s daughter, named after her friend. She gets pregnant out of wedlock.
Ibrahima Sall
Aissatou II’s sweetheart, and husband-to-be. He is a law student.
Modou’s brother. He proposes to Ramatoulaye shortly after Modou’s death, but she rejects him.
Farba Diouf
Aunty Nabou’s brother, and Nabou’s father.
One of Ramatoulaye’s sons.
One of Ramatoulaye’s sons.
One of Ramatoulaye’s sons.
One of Ramatoulaye’s sons.
Mawdo Fall
One of Ramatoulaye’s sons.
Ramatoulaye’s friend from Cote d’Ivoire.
Samba Diack
Jacqueline’s husband.
Ramatoulaye’s younger sister.
One of Ramatoulaye’s daughters.
One of Ramatoulaye’s daughters.
One of Ramatoulaye’s daughters.