Sassouma Berete And Sogolon Kedjou In The Epic Of Sundiata

862 words - 3 pages

Mothers play a very influential role in a young mans life. Even though Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Bérété both had an impact on there son's life, their character traits were at different ends of the maternal spectrum. Despite minuscule similarities Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Bérété were depicted in direct contrast in the epic Sundiata.

When comparing the two Sogolon Kedjou and Sassouma Berete both did what they thought would help to get their son's to become king. Sogolon knew everything that Sassouma was capable of doing to hurt her family, so she came up with the idea to leave the kingdom. Soglon said, "Lets us leave my son" (113). She thought this would be the best thing to do for all her children so she could keep them alive. "Despairing of ever injuring you, Sassouma will aim her blows at your brother or sister"(115). Although it was Sundiata's destiny to become king there was no set time placed on when this would occur. Therefore traveling to different kingdoms gave them time, and allowed for the fulfillment of not only Sundiata's destiny, but the destiny of his sibling too. Sassouma on the other hand wanted her son Dankaran to reign as the king of Mali after his father passed away. Sassouma knew her late husband would not pass the throne to her son, so she decided to banish Sogolon and her family to the backyard. Sassouma thought this would help her son's path to becoming the next king of Mali. She thought Sundiata was competition and a distraction to her son, so she wanted him dead. "I want to kill Sundiata. His destiny runs counter to my son's and he must be killed while there is still time" (115).

Although Sogolon and Sassouma Berete were both wives and mothers, Sogolon was portrayed as a good mother while her counterpart Sassouma was an evil one. Sogolon played a typical mother to her own kids along with Manding Bory; she took him in when his mother passed away. "Sundiata loved him very much and since the death of Namandje he had been welcomed by Sogolon" (115). She also showed her son unconditional love when the village was spiteful with gossip and ridiculed him. Although they lived in disgrace after they were banned from the kingdom Sogolon still believed in her son. Most mothers possess a motherly instinct that encompasses a love for not only her children but for other people's children as well. Sassouma...

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