So Long a Letter


Mariama Bâ

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Aunty Nabou’s Journey Symbol Analysis

Aunty Nabou’s Journey Symbol Icon

Aunty Nabou’s journey to her ancestral village of Diakhao symbolizes and enacts a kind of passage through time—particularly a passage backwards in time. As Nabou moves further inland, further from cosmopolitan Dakar, she immerses herself more and more intensely in the old customs of Senegal, and in an older, more rural way of life. Her final destination is the tomb of her ancestors—another symbol of the past, of nostalgia and tradition and precedent—and it is here that she finds the resolve to scheme for her son Mawdo’s second marriage.

Aunty Nabou’s Journey Quotes in So Long a Letter

The So Long a Letter quotes below all refer to the symbol of Aunty Nabou’s Journey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Custom, Modernity, and Progress Theme Icon
Chapter 10 Quotes

How many generations has this same unchanging countryside seen glide past! Aunty Nabou acknowledged man's vulnerability in the face of the eternity of nature. By its very duration, nature defies time and takes its revenge on man.

Related Characters: Ramatoulaye (speaker), Aunty Nabou
Related Symbols: Aunty Nabou’s Journey
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
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Aunty Nabou’s Journey Symbol Timeline in So Long a Letter

The timeline below shows where the symbol Aunty Nabou’s Journey appears in So Long a Letter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Custom, Modernity, and Progress Theme Icon
Feminism and Islam Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Friendship vs. Marital Love Theme Icon
...Farba Diouf, who is a customary chief in Diakhao, a rural town far inland. After a long journey she visits the tomb of her noble ancestors, which is located in the town, and... (full context)