Season of Migration to the North

by

Tayeb Salih

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Mustafa Sa’eed’s mother Character Analysis

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 or affection towards Sa’eed when he is a child. However, when Sa’eed decides to attend school as a child, and when he wins scholarships to study abroad in Cairo and in England, she seems happy and supports her son’s independence. Sa’eed never sees her again after he leaves Sudan to study; he receives news of her death years later in England.
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Mustafa Sa’eed’s mother Character Timeline in Season of Migration to the North

The timeline below shows where the character Mustafa Sa’eed’s mother appears in Season of Migration to the North. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Conquest and Colonialism Theme Icon
Migration and Identity Theme Icon
Modernity and Change Theme Icon
...before his birth. He had no siblings, and he had a distant relationship with his mother. One day, a British colonial officer asks Mustafa, still a young child, whether he wants... (full context)
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Migration and Identity Theme Icon
A scholarship is arranged for Mustafa to attend high school in Cairo. His mother seems happy when he tells her that he is going, although they never say good-bye... (full context)
Chapter 9
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Conquest and Colonialism Theme Icon
...too afraid. It was then that Sa’eed remembered that he had received news of his mother’s death nine months earlier. He wept belatedly. One day, as they were sitting together in... (full context)