Essay PreviewMore ↓
Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih tells the story of a man searching for an identity he was unaware he had lost. Through his growing understanding of Mustafa Sa'eed's life, the central character eventually reconciles his own identity conflicts.
Throughout Salih's novel the main character's identity is unclear. While the reader learns much about his background: educational, familial, and professional, his name is never mentioned. A surname is used in reference to his family, but is never applied to him. In once instance he is referred to by another character as "effendi" (85). This phrase, however, is an Arabic title roughly equivalent to "sir" rather than a name. The central character's namelessness serves to focus attention on another character with whom he develops an uneasy friendship: Mustafa Sa'eed.
Mustafa entrusts the main character with his affairs after his death, including the key to a private chamber. When the central character enters the mysterious room and uncovers Mustafa's past, the identity conflict becomes apparent:
…out of the darkness there emerged a frowning face with pursed lips that I knew but could not place. I moved towards it with hate in my heart. It was my adversary Mustafa Sa'eed. The face grew… and I found myself standing face to face with myself. …a picture of me frowning at my face from a mirror. (135)
Several parallels are drawn between the central character and Mustafa Sa'eed. Both speak English and had studied in London. Even though the central character had grown up in the village, his education and time abroad had made him as much an outsider as Sa'eed. Upon seeing his own reflection in the darkness, he believes it to be Mustafa, who he had grown to despise. As he moves closer to the object of his hatred, he discovers that he is "standing face to face with" himself. Mustafa represents to him all that he despises in himself.
How to Cite this Page
"Identity in Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Nov 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Tayeb Salih’s, Season of Migration to the North, the reader encounters the story of one of the main characters, Mustafa Sa’eed. In Stuart Halls’, Cultural Identity and Diaspora, we get an insight on what forms an identity and what molds it to be the way it is. Throughout Season of Migration to the North, the narrator attempts to discover the true identity of Sa’eed, but instead, finds himself as well. Cultural differences help mold one’s identity into one’s being, versus what they become. Halls’ article about cultural identity can be correlated to the experience the narrator goes through in order to find out more about the mysterious Mustafa Sa’eed.... [tags: cultural identity, diaspora]
2101 words (6 pages)
- While postcolonial studies often examine the immediate aftermath of colonial violence, Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist engage with the entire history of oppression through foreign invasion and the hierarchization of nations over one another and the manner. Forms of oppression include colonization, imperialism, neocolonial, hegemony and a number of other terms common in postcolonial studies. The history of these various forms of oppression is explored in the texts and revealed through structural and sexual violence.... [tags: Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Imperialism]
1551 words (4.4 pages)
- Written by Tayeb Salih, the novel ‘Season of Migration to the North’ as described by The Observer “is an Arabian Nights in reverse, enclosing a pithy moral about international misconceptions and delusions.” The novel is set both in England and the Sudan, showing the stark social differences within these two locations. In this essay, I will evaluate the reasons supporting and opposing Mahjoub’s statement as defined in ‘Season of Migration to the North’. In the first line of the novel (and once more later in the book: "dear sirs" page 62), the narrator introduces the reader to a male-dominated world by suggesting his audience is masculine; "It was, gentlemen, after a long absence—seven years... [tags: Season of Migration to the North Tayeb Salih]
804 words (2.3 pages)
- Cultural Feminism vs. Post Colonized Feminism Being a Feminist and having a Feminist point of view in observing every cultural, social and historical issue had been translated as having a feminine centered and anti-masculine perception. Unlike the general and common knowledge about feminism, it is not only an anti-masculine perception towards social and individual issues. Feminism according to Oxford dictionary is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes that more commonly known as the pursuit of equality for women’s rights.... [tags: cultural feminism, post colonized feminism]
1932 words (5.5 pages)
- Verenice Clopton Response Paper: International Migration Purdue North West University International migration for many people and it does not matter which country or city in which they reside they have similar reasons. Such as a better way of life for themselves and their family, their current living conditions, better employment opportunities and even something as simple as having food to fed their families. As our text and history shows the war is one of the main components which lead to people leaving their country’s or homes like the Out of Ireland film as to how and why the Devereux family’s land and home were taking way when the English invaded their territory and conq... [tags: Human migration, United States]
1009 words (2.9 pages)
- Since the dawn of time people move from one place to another in search of more opportunities and a better life. These migrations continued up until the present era and have even increased. The complexity of migration has also increased due to the formation of nations with clear defined boundaries. It has been argued that the increase in migration as a whole has great benefits to mankind. However, this movement of people has caused the promotion of phenomena such as overpopulation, ethnic factionalism and social stratification which has had harmful social, economical and political impacts.... [tags: Migration]
1838 words (5.3 pages)
- ... (2002). There are studies in which the authors interpret this relocation as not just a spatial movement of masses of people, but also as a dynamic "offensive", the infiltration of ethnicities and cultures, mixing of which with the ethnic groups and cultures of the host countries may not always have predictable effects and features. At the same time, according to many experts, neither North America nor Europe in the near future are able to do without a constant inflow of immigrants from as far east as Asia, as far south as Africa and Latin America.... [tags: offshoring, migration policies]
1015 words (2.9 pages)
- The Great Migration was a huge relocation of African Americans from the Southern states of the United States to northern and Midwestern cities. This occurred between the years of 1910 and 1970. Over 6 million African Americans traveled to Northern cities during the migration. Some northern city destinations were Richmond, D.C, Baltimore, New York, and Newark. Western and Midwestern destinations were those such as Los Angelos, San Francisco, St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit. During this time period and previous years, Jim Crow laws in the South were greatly in affect and causing African Americans a rough time due to the racism they faced.... [tags: Great Migration Essays]
1734 words (5 pages)
- This international migration occurred between 1948 and 1970s. West Indies consists of around 20 islands. Near half million people left their homes in the Caribbean to live in Britain. Decolonisation between the 1922 to 1975 led to many of England's colonies becoming independent. This led to many people from the ex-colonies such as the West Indies coming over to Britain in search of a better eduction, lifestyle and jobs, as their was high unemployment at home. The end of the second world war, the government was in needed of recruiting workers from the Caribbean to managed the shortages of labour in some British industries.... [tags: Migration, history, geography, ]
600 words (1.7 pages)
- Migration: Its’ Causes and Effects within a Mexican Sub-Culture “Migration uproots people from their families and their communities and from their conventional ways of understanding the world. They enter a new terrain filled with new people, new images, new lifeways, and new experiences. They return … and act as agents of change.” (Grimes 1998: 66) The migration experience is one that has deeply altered and affected the lives of many peoples, including Mexicans and specifically Putlecans. Some say that the vast numbers of these people who decide to migrate is a new phenomenon.... [tags: essays research papers]
1919 words (5.5 pages)
- Social Oppression Exposed in Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable
- An Analysis of Geoffrey Hill’s Little Apocalypse
- Point of View in Eudora Welty’s A Visit of Charity
- William Gibson’s Neuromancer is Cyberpunk
- Representation of War in Sassoon’s They, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and the film Hedd Wynn
- Unique Cultures in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
The main character's struggle to construct his own identity separate from Mustafa Sa'eed culminates with his final decision to call for help after attempting suicide making the interpersonal connection Mustafa never had.