An Analysis of Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

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Season of Migration to the North: A comparison between the two deaths of Hosna Bint Mahmoud and Jean Morris

Season of Migration to the North is a classically complex Arabic novel written by the late Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih about the problems faced due to colonization and the attitudes towards the ‘new’ world. Throughout the novel issues such as racism, sexism, corruption and the drawbacks of modernisation are explored and these issues are all presented by Tayeb Salih in the two scenes where Hosna Bint Mahmoud commits suicide after killing the old man, Wad Rayyes and also when Jean Morris is killed by Mustafa Sa’eed in ‘love’. In this essay I will explore the two scenes in which these women both die, and compare and contrast the
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This resembles the murder of Jean Morris as Mustafa Sa’eed has pre-planned to kill her as he brings the blade with him, and he calls it “a night of reckoning”. Although they are pre-meditated the ‘ecstasy’ in the eyes of Jean Morris and the way that she pleads Mustafa Sa’eed to kill her makes the reader feel sympathy for Mustafa Sa’eed as it is obvious that he loves her, but quite clearly his idea of love is distorted because of the lack of love anyone has shown him during his childhood.

Throughout the novel sex is linked to violence and especially in the Sudanese village of Wad Hamid the two are sometimes confused. In both murder scenes sex is significant as both murder scenes take place in the bedroom and this shows the increased amount of violence within Salih’s characters and also a relation with sex and violent activity which is another subject which is explored by Salih throughout the text. Bint Mazjoub’s narration of the scene where Hosna kills Wad Rayyes is perhaps the most reliable information given in the book because of her straightforward nature, but we can see that even the most powerful woman in the book still believed it was amusing that Hosna was screaming and wailing and shows the differences in view from a Sudanese perspective to a

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