Season of Migration to the North

by

Tayeb Salih

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Season of Migration to the North Themes

Themes and Colors
Gender and Violence Theme Icon
Conquest and Colonialism Theme Icon
Migration and Identity Theme Icon
Modernity and Change Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Season of Migration to the North, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Gender and Violence

In Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, relations between men and women are characterized by violence. During his time in England, the Sudanese protagonist of the novel, Mustafa Sa’eed, has a number of relationships with English women that end in death or murder. And in the small village of Wad Hamid in Sudan, where the novel’s unnamed narrator encounters Sa’eed, tragedy strikes when Sa’eed’s widow Hosna is forced to marry a…

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Conquest and Colonialism

In Season of Migration to the North, the protagonist, Mustafa Sa’eed, thinks of himself as an avenger of the wrongs done to him and his people under British colonization of his native land, Sudan. During his time in England, he seeks to get revenge on white women, whom he approaches as embodiments of the European culture that subjugates his people. The novel suggests that the experience of colonization—an experience characterized by conquest and…

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Migration and Identity

Both the narrator of Season of Migration to the North and the protagonist, Mustafa Sa’eed, leave their native land of Sudan to undertake long migrations to England, where they travel to study and ultimately live for many years. Upon encountering each other in the small village of Wad Hamid in Sudan after their travels abroad, the narrator and Sa’eed must confront the extent to which they have become alienated both from themselves and from…

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Modernity and Change

Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North depicts the small village of Wad Hamid—as well as the country of Sudan in which it is located—undergoing major transformations as a result of modernization. The novel’s unnamed narrator witnesses many of these transformations, and ultimately takes an ambivalent view towards them. Many of these transformations lead to improvements in people’s lives and livelihoods, but not all of these changes are for the better. The novel suggests…

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