In So Long a Letter, what is the significance of the theme of betrayal on Ramatoulaye's behavior? What is the importance of betrayal in the novel?

In So Long a Letter, the significance of the theme of betrayal on Ramatoulaye’s behavior is that it makes her bitter and lacking in trust. Her late husband’s numerous betrayals have had a damaging effect on her life and she cannot move on because of them. The importance of betrayal in the novel is that it’s presented as an intrinsic part of traditional Senegalese polygamy.

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At the beginning of this poignant novel, Ramatoulaye's husband has just died. As if that were not traumatic enough, she must share her home during these days with Binetou, her husband's second wife, who is her daughter's age. In this situation, Ramatoulaye starts to think with bitterness about why her late husband, Moudou, had compelled her to become a co-wife after many years of marriage and many children. The theme of betrayal is important here because if her husband had not taken on a second wife, Ramatoulaye would just have been grieving her husband, without the added complication of the bitterness that she felt towards him.

The ironic part of this was that as a young woman, Ramatoulaye had been well educated and had her choice of husbands. She picked Moudou because she loved him, and despite polygamy being allowed in terms of Senegalese tradition, she had been devastated when her husband became a "sugar daddy" to one of their daughter's friends.

His betrayal didn't stop there...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 848 words.)

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