The Hill of Love Is Different From the Hill of Marriage: Re-Reading Mariama Ba’s Scarlet Song

Angela Ngozi Dick


The task of this paper is to discover the wisdom behind this Wolof proverb: “When one abandons one’s own hill, the next hill which one climbs will crumble”. This paper has shown that the hill is the environment, race, cultural precepts, maternal bond, and values of the characters themselves that inhibit intercultural marriage. The theoretical framework used in this article is mainly deconstructionist theory, nonetheless eclectic approach is accommodated because of the interpretation of the concept hill. The interpretations of what constitutes a hill affected some characters negatively so that they did not achieve their goals fully. Other characters did not allow cultural pull and family ties to overwhelm them. Cultural precepts like the formidable power wielded by mother in-laws, maternal bond, mother’s culinary art, polygamy overwhelmed the protagonist to insanity. This paper recommends that mothers in-law should relax their maternal hold on their sons when they are married. The men who are not emotionally strong to withstand cultural pull should marry their own kinswomen.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Angela Ngozi Dick

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

If you have any questions, please contact