Season of Migration to the North

by

Tayeb Salih

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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 Sa’eed pursue her for three years before she agrees to marry him, and once she does marry him, she torments him by carrying on flirtations with other men, as well as mocking and belittling him. Of all the women whom Sa’eed has relationships with, she is the one who most challenges him. She destroys many of his valuable possessions, including expensive and exotic artifacts that he keeps in his London apartment. She seems to play a part in provoking her own murder by constantly taunting Sa’eed and telling him that he is incapable of carrying out such a violent act. Indeed, on the night on which Sa’eed does murder her, she seems to welcome the dagger that Sa’eed plunges into her chest as he makes love to her. It seems that Jean Morris exhibits a certain affinity and desire for death and destruction—both towards herself and towards others.

Jean Morris Quotes in Season of Migration to the North

The Season of Migration to the North quotes below are all either spoken by Jean Morris or refer to Jean Morris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the NYRB Classics edition of Season of Migration to the North published in 2009.
Chapter 9 Quotes

“The moments of ecstasy were in fact rare; the rest of the time we spent in a murderous war in which no quarter was given. The war invariably ended in my defeat. When I slapped her, she would slap me back and dig her nails into my face...”

Related Characters: Mustafa Sa’eed (speaker), The Narrator, Jean Morris
Page Number: Book Page 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

“I pressed down the dagger with my chest until it had all disappeared between her breasts. I could feel the hot blood gushing from her chest. I began crushing my chest against her as she called out imploringly: ‘Come with me.””

Related Characters: Mustafa Sa’eed (speaker), The Narrator, Jean Morris
Page Number: Book Page 136
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Season of Migration to the North LitChart as a printable PDF.
Season of migration to the north.pdf.medium

Jean Morris Character Timeline in Season of Migration to the North

The timeline below shows where the character Jean Morris appears in Season of Migration to the North. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Migration and Identity Theme Icon
...the English people around him. In London, he enters the world of a woman named Jean Morris. He says that everything that had happened before his encounter with her was a... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Mustafa goes on to recount to the narrator the moment of his meeting with Jean Morris at a party in London, when he was twenty-five. The second time he met... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
...Mustafa replied, “I don’t know.” However, to the prosecutor’s question of whether he had killed Jean Morris, he answered, “Yes.” (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Mustafa pursued Jean Morris for three years. One day, she gave in to him, telling him that she... (full context)
Chapter 4
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Conquest and Colonialism Theme Icon
...deprived him of the death that he so longed for. On that final night with Jean Morris, she had asked Mustafa to “come with her”—meaning, presumably, to die with her—but he... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
The narrator turns to the painting of Jean Morris above the English mantelpiece. He recalls, again, Mustafa Sa’eed’s story of his relationship with... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Conquest and Colonialism Theme Icon
After their marriage, Jean Morris refused to let Mustafa Sa’eed sleep with her. Two months into the marriage, he... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
While Mustafa Sa’eed had his moments of ecstasy with Jean, most of the time they were at war, even resorting to physical fights. Jean would... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
One cold winter’s night in February, Mustafa Sa’eed returned home to find Jean Morris stretched out naked on the bed in his London apartment, her thighs open. As... (full context)