Season of Migration to the North

by

Tayeb Salih

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Season of Migration to the North Characters

Mustafa Sa’eed

Mustafa Sa’eed is the mysterious and charismatic protagonist of the novel. Born in the early 20th century in Sudan during British colonization, Sa’eed’s is raised by a single mother after his father dies before Sa’eed’s… (read full character analysis)

The Narrator

The narrator is from the small village of Wad Hamid in northern Sudan. He goes abroad to England, where he spends seven years pursuing doctoral studies. After his studies he returns to the village on… (read full character analysis)

Jean Morris

Jean Morris is the first wife of Mustafa Sa’eed. He meets and marries her in London. She is violent, rebellious, and provocative, resisting all of Sa’eed’s attempts to control and subjugate her. She makes… (read full character analysis)

Hosna bint Mahmoud

Hosna bint Mahmoud is the second wife of Mustafa Sa’eed. She is a young, beautiful Sudanese woman from the small village of Wad Hamid, located along the banks of the Nile river in northern… (read full character analysis)

Isabella Seymour

Isabella Seymour is one of the English women whom Mustafa Sa’eed seduces in England, after meeting her one summer’s day in a London park. Sa’eed encourages her interest in him by referring to, and exaggerating… (read full character analysis)
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Ann Hammond

Ann Hammond is a young English woman, a student, whom Sa’eed meets after giving a lecture at the University of Oxford. Hammond is completely taken by Sa’eed’s exotic background and she immediately enters into a… (read full character analysis)

Sheila Greenwood

Sheila Greenwood is a young English woman from a humble background in northern England. Greenwood worked as a waitress in a café in Soho, London, where Sa’eed first met her. Like Isabella Seymour and Ann(read full character analysis)

Wad Rayyes

Wad Rayyes is an elderly man nearing 70 and a citizen of the small Sudanese village of Wad Hamid. He is good friends with the narrator’s grandfather, Bint Majzoub, and Bakri. Handsome… (read full character analysis)

Mahjoub

Mahjoub is the narrator’s oldest and closest friend. He is a resident of Wad Hamid, the village where the narrator has roots. Mahmoud and the narrator attended elementary school together. However, while the narrator… (read full character analysis)

The narrator’s grandfather

The narrator’s grandfather is a man nearing 90. He is a role model for the narrator, who looks up to him as a pillar of strength and endurance and as an example of how… (read full character analysis)

Bint Majzoub

Bint Majzoub is an elderly citizen of the village of Wad Hamid. Bint Majzoub is an example of an outspoken, independent woman in a deeply patriarchal and conservative community. She has had several husbands, and… (read full character analysis)

Mustafa Sa’eed’s mother

Mustafa Sa’eed’s mother raises her son Mustafa Sa’eed alone, after his father’s death while she was still pregnant. The relationship between herself and her son is rather cold and distant: she never expresses much emotion… (read full character analysis)

Mrs. Robinson

Mrs. Robinson is the wife of Mr. Robinson, the principal of the school in Cairo to which Mustafa Sa’eed is sent to study on scholarship. Sa’eed has his first experience of sexual arousal when… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Robinson

Mr. Robinson is the husband of Mrs. Robinson. He is the principal of the school in Cairo to which Mustafa Sa’eed is sent to study on scholarship. He, along with his wife, acts as… (read full character analysis)

The Mamur

The Mamur is a government official whom the narrator encounters one day on a train ride in Sudan. The Mamur had been in the same class as Mustafa Sa’eed in school, during the period of… (read full character analysis)

Wad Baseer

Wad Baseer is a traditional “village engineer” in the village of Wad Hamid in Sudan. He has never attended school. Before the arrival of water pumps, he was charged with constructing water wheels along the… (read full character analysis)

Mahmoud

Mahmoud is eight years old. He is the eldest son to Mustafa Sa’eed and Hosna bint Mahmoud, and is also the older brother to Sa’eed. He is named after his maternal grandfather. Right… (read full character analysis)

Sa’eed (junior)

Sa’eed is seven years old. He is the youngest son to Mustafa Sa’eed and Hosna bint Mahmoud, and the younger brother to Mahmoud. He is named after his paternal grandfather. Right before his death… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Bakri
Bakri is an elder resident of the village of Wad Hamid, on the banks of the Nile river. He is good friends with the narrator’s grandfather, Wad Rayyes and Bint Majzoub.