Rhetoric analysis essay


Rhetoric analysis essay


Fatmata Conteth presents to the reader in her short story “letter to my sisters”, a scenario which reveals the plight of the women in the society. She tries to show how women are submissive to the powerful men in the society. In real sense the men are not really powerful and women can even do better than the men in the society. Ndamba Dao is a pioneer woman in that society. She becomes the first doctor in that community since she has really excelled in her education even furthering her studies and becoming a medical doctor. The Muslim society does not recognize this and she is treated just like a subordinate member of the society. Her status does not change. Her father and other men become the determiners of her destinity. Ironically she is the intellectual and educative unlike other men in her society. Her mother is supportive to her father in making Ndamba nobody in the society. It is obvious not true that women should be subjects to men. It is very important to learn that anybody can gain education and at long last help the society in one way or another

Men in this community are revealed as hard hearted and thus are viewed to oppress the women in many ways. The women are denied their rights and yet they seem comfortable since they are not aware of their rights. Women are not educated and the chosen few like Ndamba Dao are not considered to be of any help in the community. Even though the women are abused and given bad treats, they are expected to obey and be submissive to the men. In the hospital where Ndamba serves, she is met by many women who face hostility from their men. Ya yanoh represents the plight of women. She suffers from ulcers which makes her face rejection and persecution. Ironically she is not only rejected because of the ulcers but also her having beautiful teeth, this intensifies her persecution. This shows that in this community women are subjected to rejection and persecution because of their strengths and also the things that cannot be controlled example the biological appearance which is of cause natural.

Ndambas’ sisters are expected to be morally upright. They are not given any education and even freedom. Their brothers on the other hand are given all the freedom they wish for. Unlike the brothers the sisters cannot go out. They have to remain in doors with no education. They are there to look after their brothers by doing the household chores. They are not supposed to engage themselves in any form of relationship and instead stick at home. This becomes very unfair since both men and women should be treated right and equally.

In this community religion is wrongly used to ensure that women always remain submissive. The writer is trying to show that no matter what religion everybody should be treated equally. Women are always threatened with the hell fire if they don’t submit. This is shown clearly by the writer as wrong. Religion should in fact emphasize more on equality, justice and right treatment. The life for women in this society is seen as endurance. Women endure sufferings, rejections and persecutions. Their world is seen to be a virtual freedom since they are subjected to no freedom. Women have to do whatever the men consider to be true and right even if in real sense its wrong.

Ndamba Dao after facing so many hardships resume to committing suicide. She can’t stand being humiliated yet she is intelligent and educated and is now a medical doctor. She does this so as to make men realize that what they are doing is actually so wrong. She details the ill she and her sisters have suffered. She cannot stand being forced into a marriage she does not like especially with a man who is repulsive. It is unfortunate that her mother supports this good for nothing marriage. The community is so ungrateful and they show no respect of her achievements. They are not grateful of her success and her individually. They don’t respect her and don’t even recognize her status in that community reason being she is woman. She is mature enough but still she is treated like one without a conscience of her own. At last she cannot handle this and she commits suicide. Her suicide serves as a revolt against male chauvinism and also religious oppression and suppression.

It is clearly observed that the writer shows the theme of being a martyr. Ndamba Dao is a martyr and she is ready to die in order for the men to realize that the oppression they subject the women to is wrong. Dao is ready to die for her fellow women so that men can realize how terrible they make the women feel. Dao is seen to be very self sacrificing, courageous and also very principled and determined. It is very unfair that despite her education she is still subjected to oppression like other women. Her father determines what she is supposed to wear, where she is going and whom she relates with. This total lack of freedom is wrong. She portrays her courage by rebelling against her father. She is seen to defy her father thus leading in the way to rejecting patriarchy and its oppressive nature. She represents the fed up women who are ready to break from the chains of oppression and this she is a symbol of positive declaration and the self will of women who are in a state of oppression and discrimination.

The writer portrays Dao’s father as unfeeling and heartless. He is gender insensitive and very mean. He pretends to be so staunch to religion so as to oppress Dao and her sisters. He is opposed to educating his daughters since he thinks that they can’t be of any importance in the society. He views women to be vessels of bearing children instead of being educated. This judgment is so wrong. Women can even do better than men in the society. This father does not give freedom to his mature daughters and he end up bothering them even in their private life. He is an example of an indiscriminative parent since he treats his children with much difference. He treats the brothers right while the daughters are oppressed. This is portrayed by the writer as very wrong. Nobody should be considered special. This father is a symbol of how women are denied their rights in the society by the men. This should be indeed stopped.

Women should realize their rights early in advance so as to avoid men taking advantage of them. Dao’s mother is seen to be this mother who is so submissive. She thinks that whatever the father says is correct even though it seems oppressive. She cries and weeps more often but she does not go against her husband. She is a down to earth wife who is so loyal to her husband. She is touched by her daughter’s death. She is a symbol of those women in the society who are humble, meek and subjective to their men and who only weep and cry when oppressed and mistreated. Women should not keep quiet about what they are going through. They should speak up for their rights to be upheld.

The writer is able to capture her audience by pointing out the various problems women are likely to face in different societies. The writer reveals the problems like domestic violence, discrimination of the girl child, different oppressions and also the fact that women are considered to belong to a low class. Gender equity and equality should be upheld at any time and place. Religion should not be seen as a hindrance of gender equity. The plight of women is clearly evaluated by the writer. The women are even more intelligent than men in this society yet they are seen as good for nothing objects. Women are very important people in a given society. They should be given the right treat. The writer portrays the women in positive light as opposed to the men who oppress them and are even antagonists.


The writer uses suicide as a solution to the problem Dao is facing. This to me does not seem to be a good solution. Her death is so fast yet she is of great help in the society. Her medical skills could be of great assistance in the society. From her death, her father is vey surprised and this in one way or another could bring freedom to other women in the society. The plight of women is clearly portrayed and evaluated by the writer. Oppression is not solution to any problem. Oppression should be stopped and people given the freedom they deserve whether male or female. Change is necessary in the communities that still practice gender discrimination and equality.





Works cited

Clarke, A. (2004). Half a day and other stories: An anthology of short stories from north eastern    and eastern Africa. Nairobi: Macmillan Kenya.




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