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In the 18th century, during the Age of Enlightenment, a time of high intellectual activity, the fight for women’s rights began.

Traditional African culture regularly degrades, mocks, and physically torments women. Women did not exist as distinct people with personalities in the past. They more or less existed as the males’ exotic and submissive companions.

Women throughout the time didn’t have a voice to express their predicament and viewpoints. As a result, they gave up to their fate without protest. Such a passive attitude is the product of dubious cultural practises that condition society.

Africans learn from society and others the messages and reinforcement that launch them into roles and behaviours that are regarded proper for males and females, respectively, from birth through childhood, adolescence, and maturity.

Most of the time, women are given subordinate responsibilities, and due to years of cultural intimidation and repression, women have, sadly, underestimated their own strengths and worth.

The African women were especially motivated by a sense of community since they were enveloped in such a mystifying cultural environment, which precludes individualism.

These women were therefore subjected to additional repressive constraints resulting from patriarchal socio-cultural institutions and gender hierarchy, in addition to facing the same oppressive socioeconomic conditions as their male counterparts in a developing globe.

However, these years of oppression have resulted in today’s women’s constant questioning of the status quo. They oppose social injustice, political servitude, and dehumanisation.

They defend their position by arguing that women should be treated equally to men in all aspects of life because managing the African continent is not just a task for men.

Feminism, an ideology that calls for, in plain terms, the acceptance of women’s claims to equal rights with men, is the name given to such a response.

According to Cora Kaplan (162), literary texts are created within ideologies, and the reality they express depends on the historical culture that surrounds them.

Likewise, literary critical assertions about the veracity or authenticity of literary texts are influenced by the culture from which they are made.

African feminism, according to Helen Chukwuma (xiv), is committed to and informed by internal socioeconomic realities. One of these realities is the continuance of the androcentricism that underlies social life in the socio-psychological paradigm, despite efforts to combat it. (Uko, 33)

However, women’s continuous strong demand for equal rights in men’s previous bastion of power and privilege is matched by the pervasive sexism in Africa.

“Whatever the case may be, you will never again hear us pronounce the words of the Virgin Mary, “Thy will be done,” while grinning at your despotic power,” the chorus of African women tells the males. (Josephine Felicite in Moses, C.G., and Rabine, L. 308–309).

They contend that men should desire from them the noble and giving impulses that must exist between equals rather than the mercenary feelings that a slave has towards his master.

In light of this investigation and debate, a woman is currently defined as “a human being endowed with all the capabilities and talents required to effectively function and make impact on all levels of life within society” (Adeife Osemeikhiam, 21) within the context of the African cosmic order.

Despite the aforementioned perspective, gender stereotypes continue to be prevalent throughout Africa. By gender stereotypes,

we simply mean a collection of widely held opinions or beliefs about what behaviours and activities are “appropriate” for men and those that are “appropriate” for women.

Because of this, men’s language nevertheless exhibits a subliminal tendency towards sexist socialisation, even while they accept women’s condemnation of their (women’s) societal deprivations.

The New Dictionary According to Webster’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the English Language, sexism is first demonstrated by attitudes and institutions that frequently go unnoticed and determine a person’s value based on their gender or sex.

It is described as bias or discrimination against women, typically, based on their gender. Therefore, sexist socialisation is the process through which young toddlers and infants are raised to adopt beliefs and behaviours that discriminate against women based on their gender.

The purpose of this study is to illustrate the distinctive linguistic style of So Long a Letter as well as the psychological mindset that underlies that style.

Research by anthropologists, educators, and sociolinguists reveals that traditionally, men use non-standard language, women speak in discursive style while men prefer the language of theories and abstractions,

women use polite language intended to maintain harmony and strong relationships as well as to keep conversations open, and men use the language of assertivness. Men speak in the language of the expert while women speak in the language of unity.


Men in Africa try to convince women that they are the head of the family, or that they are better than women. Women have little voice in community events since they are perceived as being weak.

Particularly in Africa, they are enslaved to do what the men command and have no rights. Women are made to feel inferior, which cultivates negative feelings in them.


The purpose of this analysis is to show how Mariama Ba use language in her book So Long a Letter to represent feminism—the response of women to the oppressive and discriminatory culture they endure.


Students and other scholars will find the topic Language in Feminist Literature: a Study of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter to be a useful source of information.

This effort will shed additional light on feminism’s terminology and social effects.


This project is mostly limited to the analysis of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter’s use of language in feminist literature.


The primary source for this work is Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter, while the secondary sources are a variety of library books.

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