Mustafa Sa’eed’s apartment in London, where he consummates his relationships with the English women whom he seduces, represents a fetishized version of his native Sudanese culture. Mustafa Sa’eed fills the room with the smell of incense, with small sparkling lights, and with rugs and paintings that all evoke a sense of the “exotic east.” As such, the room reflects a European colonial view of the “east” as a place that embodies the foreign, the savage, and the magical. In embodying many of the stereotypes that Europeans hold about the east, Mustafa Sa’eed’s apartment thus represents a reductive, fetishized, stereotypical version of his native culture. Sa’eed deploys this fetishized representation in order to lure English women such as Isabella Seymour, Sheila Greenwood, and Ann Hammond to him, knowing that his exotic roots are a major source of their attraction to him. The London apartment, moreover, stands in direct contrast to Sa’eed’s secret room in Sudan, which fetishizes his life in London.
Sa’eed’s London Apartment Quotes in Season of Migration to the North
How ridiculous! A fireplace—imagine it! A real English fireplace with all the bits and pieces.
“In London I took her to my house, the den of lethal lies that I had deliberately built up, lie upon lie: the sandalwood and incense; the ostrich feathers and ivory and ebony figurines; the paintings and drawings of forests of palm trees along the shores of the Nile, boats with sails like doves’ wings, suns setting over the mountains of the Red Sea, camel caravans wending their way along sand dunes on the borders of the Yemen, baobab tress in Kordofan, naked girls from the tribes of Zandi.”
“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.””