Polygamy As The Opposite Of Monogamy And Tradition
The depiction of the difficult circumstances and position of the African woman was well revealed by Mariama Ba, who illustrates the reality of the multiwives as an oppressed group with no power.
Mariama Ba’s depiction has opened a critical inquiry about the natural form of marriage as it should or expected to create a stability and harmony between two engaged souls. However, polygamy tends to spoil the African woman identity if its wrongly and roughly exploited, so that’s why Mariama Ba evaluate polygamy in the light of the African woman identity and also of gender politics that intensifies the contradictions and the confusion. In this connection, polygamy does nothing for the African woman identity; it’s not anymore a viable option for her, especially in the postcolonial period. Simply, it doesn’t provide a voice for her to be heard.
Mariama Ba navigates this very touchy fact quite creatively and made the reader think about polygamy in depth. Seemingly, African women are capable to define and revive their buried identities. It was hard for Mariama ba to raise question about the new culture setting, which is ‘love’ in the context of Islam, how love didn’t affect the polygamy system, how love doesn’t fit into polygamist system especially that her generation was the first who could marry for Love – Her high expectations Vs reality…. Ramatoulaye wouldn’t react in the same way if she was raised in another society or was forced to marry Mawdo, or was not really in love with him…. /Downfall of their marriage/…
Another important aspect is how Ramatoulaye was caught between two different worlds: the traditional religious of her upbringing and the other modern culture that she required it through schooling +in addition to her profession that it has empowered her …So, Teaching has affected her identity so that polygamy didn’t work for her, because she built a special identity from her school into her adult life – She has an identity outside of being a part of a polygamous marriage. It is evidently very clear that Mariama Ba exemplify polygamy in the modern Senegalese society, as an outcome of the collision of Islam and the traditional practices of this society. (A dilemma to follow the traditional religious norms)
Furthermore, polygamy is supported and suggested by some African women as a socio-economic expediency in order to maintain stability and security or as an escape from poverty. In the social context, polygamy is not simply a type of marriage but a sign of prestige for the man, it is considred as a mark of social status.
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