Clifton 1

Nadia Clifton Professor Arnold LBST 2102-H93 17 March 2011 So Long A Letter Microtheme Ramatoulaye s children are very important to her. She tries to raise them the right way, but not necessarily the traditional way. She tries to implement some Western ideas into her mothering. She stresses education. She tells her children that A diploma is not a myth. It is not everything, true. But it crowns knowledge, work. Her children are part of a future that she and her peers will not be a part of. Her children will eventually get to make the choices that direct the country. Ramatoulaye is successful in enforcing her children to become educated, but not so successful in other areas of her mothering. She catches three of her daughters smoking in their bedroom, and everything about their manner showed that they were used to it. This scares Ramatoulaye. She suddenly becomes afraid of the flow of progress. She wonders if it is her fault because she gave her daughters a bit of liberty. She lets her daughters hang out with both male and female friends when her grandfather did not allow young people in his house. Her second daughter even becomes pregnant. These things hurt Ramatoulaye but she gets through it, just like she gets through her husband s betrayal and death. When sexually educating her daughters, she tells them that It is through his self-control, his ability to reason, to choose, his power of attachment, that the individual distinguishes himself from the animal. Through teaching her children, Ramatoulaye

Clifton 2

learns the same thing. When she finds that her daughter is pregnant, and to the dismay of her griot, Ramatoulaye smiles instead of wails, consoles instead of reprimands, and forgives instead of threats. She uses the qualities that she tries to instill in her children, and it works for her. This makes her a good role model for her children.