identity issue in Season of Migration to the North a novel by Tayeb Salih,
Identity Crisis in the Novel: Season of Migration to the North
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Identity crisis refers to the context in which that a person questions the whole idea of life. Philosophically, identity crisis has been studied under the theories of existentialism. The term is coined to indicate a person whose egoism and personality is filled with questions regarding life foundation, feeling and arguing that life has no value. In the novel by Tayeb Salih, ‘Season of Migrating to the North,’ there are several instances that can be cited to indicate the existence of an identity crisis in the story. In this paper, we highlight and exemplify on such issues in an attempt to show how the theme of identity crisis has been presented in the novel. The paper considers the colonial theories of Edward Said, Frantz Fanon and Homi Bhabha to analyze the novel in terms of their representation of identity crisis.
Postcolonial is a term that describe the period after colonized countries gained independence from their colonizers. Post-colonialism concerns try to determine the impact of colonization on indigenous communities and their traditional practices. According to Bill Ashcroft et al. in the novel “The Empire writes back that “in every three human beings, 2 of them have their life molded by their involvement in colonization. Today, colonies don not exist with all of them gaining independence, but still former colonies are in confusion about their traditional practices and identity. Dilemma and identity crisis are evident despite the political change. The identity crisis in the past and present generation can be attributed to the interaction between the colonies and colonizers, misinterpretation of a common history, and abrupt change after colonies gained independence (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin, 2003, pp.45). It is important to note that, colonizers were not only interested in the economic resources available in colonies but also wanted culture control that former colonies are still attached colonizers. In the struggle to identify their identity, the former colonies ended up conflicting with the western culture.
In most cases, the colonizers despised the natives’ culture and forced them to adopt a new way of life. After independence, former colonies also despised the western culture and wanted to get rid of it. The post-colonialism era is characterized by economic and identity crisis among the colonized. In this post-colonialism era, colonized resist any form of colonialism and seek their identity to confirm the freedom gained. As we can deduct from the Season of Migrating to the North, the movement of people from the form their countries to colonizer’s nations result into a new group of people at war with their traditions and that of the colonizer. As per the Bill Ashcroft, colonized countries are still subjected to a new form of colonization that the independence is yet to solve (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin, 2003, pp. 2). In Africa mostly and in some part of Asia, tribal conflict is the main characteristics of postcolonial era. The conflict between different tribes is mostly due to the policies employed by colonial to colonize which was divide and rule or something similar. Most of the tribes struggles to have equal access to a various government position as other. During the scramble for Africa, Colonial government divided Africa by tribe.
The inter-tribal rivalry was exposed, mostly in countries that were colonized by Britain. Britain failed in breaking down practices that mobilize Africans ethnically (Blanton, Mason, and Athow, 2001, pp. 21). Besides, the effect of colonial exploitation due to the large plantation of pulling labor from different communities continued after independence. A good example is Caribbean communities, where people from different communities were brought together to work in the colonial plantation. The outcome is partial loss of their culture and partial absorption of western culture resulting in the identity crisis. The group working in European plantation were neither natives nor did they assimilate western culture. The postcolonial era can be generalized at a time where there were tensions and struggle among the former colonies to achieve their cultural, political, and social identity. The search for identity is motivated by the gained freedom from the colonizers who mimicked them for a long period.
Development of the postcolonial theory.
Most of the postcolonial work was published mainly after countries gained independence or during the struggle for independence. The main themes from postcolonial literature and even criticism include race, gender inequality, identity crisis, ethnic clashes, and traditional practices. Postcolonial criticism by Schultheis in the Modern literary criticism and theory focuses on; taking a different look at the colonialism, from the view of the colonized. Schultheis also focuses on determining the outcome of colonialism to both the colonizers and the colonized communities. Apart from, analyzing the process in which decolonization took place, Schultheis takes into account the political liberation and identities on the given communities (Schultheis, 2009, pp. 193). According to Terry Eagleton, Post-colonial theory cannot be attributed to decolonization and multiple cultures only, but also change in nationalism in the developing countries (1996, pp. 205). It is important to note that most of well-known theorists and authors in the 1950s were not from western countries but countries colonized by Great Britain. An example of the well-known writers of 1950s includes Salman Rushdie, Chinua Achebe, and many more others.
One of the main issue in the post-colonialism period is that of identity crisis and culture. The attention given to the issue of identity can be attributed to increasing number of immigrant where the United State are planning to accept 10,000 immigrant every year, hybrid countries, and the gain of independence. According to Brockmeier and Carbaugh (2001, pp. 23) the issue of identity presents an opportunity to authors having been studied in various disciplines and from the different theoretical point of view. The statement from Brockmeier and Carbaugh (2001, pp. 14) on the issue of identity complement that of Schultheis (2009, pp. 196) who state that identity is not a mere theme in literature but a life problem and one of the impacts of colonization. Pieterse state that it is after World War II, during the period of decolonization when majestic identities were decentered. As per the Pieterse, the question of the others become significantly important. Mostly self-identity and that of other. Furthermore, Adam (2015, pp. 49) states that the question of identity was yet to be resolved. From the statement of Hall, we can concur the question of identity is not yet settled. Franz Fanon in his argumentative theory about the impact of colonization and the change due to what immigrant experienced in the West. For the Mustafa get to The West he had to wear a white mask. After he gets to the West, he had to continue with his life of lies so as to appear to the White free from all primitive native personalities (Adam, 2015, pp. 54).
Edward Said’s concentration on the issue of identity, which is in some way influenced by the Foucaultian notion of power, is the capability to resist, to adapt one’s identity to the postcolonial. Anti-imperialist theme and this regeneration of ones need to be contextualized because it is through the realization of self-identity that one can gain the freedom and be want one want to be, it doesn’t matter if they are other peoples (Tarawneh & John, 1988, pp.330).
The additional postcolonial theory is that of Homi Bhabha with title “The Location of Culture”. The theory was developed by changing from the binary opposition by Edward Said, which founded on the knowledge and supremacy of Foucault, and to the idea of hybridity, and Bhabha has a hybrid identity. As a result of intertwining the features of both colonizer and his traditional practices thus challenging the validity and originality of any indispensable cultural identity (Ghattas-Soliman, 1991, pp. 22). Homi Bhabha introduces the third space. It is the space between the native identity and the western identity. Implying the possibility of identity hybridity that embrace the difference between two different cultures without imposing any form of hierarchy. Unlike Homi, Elad does not concentrate on the notion of continuous changing identity. Elad (2007, pp. 98) focuses on the development of an identity that he state that is an ongoing process, and hybrid identity is a likely outcome. Furthermore, Elad employs the theories about francophone colonies to correlate the relationship between the colonies and colonizers regarding cultural identity and its impact as highlighted by Velez in her literature dissertation that aimed at identifying the connection between Anglophone and Francophone with the Caribbean as the study area. Velez in her literature dissertation focuses on the issues of migration, cultural identity, and the historical background of Caribbean. (Velez, 2010, pp. 11).
In the novel Season of Migration to the North by Salih, there is an indication that colonization is reversed. The former colonies were trying all they can to colonize their former master. For instance. Mustafa states that he will use his penis to liberate Africa. This facilitated by the notion by the white women think about African men. Mustafa’s life of lies also helps in attracting white women. Besides, the Mustafa gain power over West, this is indicated by his position as a lecturer in during his stay in Great Britain. The submission of white women to Mustafa especially Ann Hammond reveal that he succeeded in colonizing the West both mentally and physically. From the moment when Mustafa arrives in Great Britain, he had a secret of the mission of sexual conquest. Mustafa responds to the British colonization of Sudan treating white women as his sexual objects. It is important to note that Mustafa valued his secret mission of colonizing more than education or a happy life. He was aware of the implication of murdering Jean Morris will have on his life. After the Western women had realized that Mustafa has been lying to them all along, they lacked the value of themselves and committed as a result with the exception of Jean Morris (Parry, 2005, pp. 75).
Another incident where Mustafa dominate white mind is during his trial for the murder of Jean. He undermines the work of the lawyer in trying to defend him by stating that he is an intruder whose fate must be decided (Salih, 1969, pp. 94). In trying to defend Mustafa, Professor Maxwell tells the court that Mustafa is a noble human being whose mind had the capability to be civilized but that he is heartbroken. Through his inner voice, Mustafa reveals that the professor’s statement was false and a fabrication. In his inner voice Mustafa agrees that guilty of all the accusation made against him. Mustafa also reveals that he is a lie and even wishes to be sentenced to death through lethal injection so as to kill the lie. There is a possibility that death is the only way to end Mustafa’s deceitful traits and his life that is based on lies. Mustafa was desperate to get rid of his life that was an imitation of Othello. In this way, he can get rid of remorse and give an end to a stereotypical lifestyle that Othello was also exposed to. To white women like Isabella Seymour, Mustafa lied to them that he was an Othello. During his trial, he differentiates from Othello and the race that he state he belongs to does not mirror the reality. The inability of Mustafa to accurately state his identity can be articulated to his life full of lies and self-imposed labels. It is likely that Mustafa imitated white identity to get a scholarship to study in Great Britain. Mustafa had no intention of embracing the western identity or finding a finding a hybrid identity. Instead, Mustafa, who employs the western culture to conquer western women and use them as sexual objects.
The Season of Migration to the North novel is an attack on colonialism from the former the perspective of a former colony. There is a possibility that western can bring civilization to primitive and ignorant Africans through the use of the gun. Mustafa uses the same tactic the ignorance of the western to revenge on behalf of the Africans. Mustafa despised colonialism stating that the Western used the so-called civilization to take advantage of the Africans. He goes on to claim that education brought to the east by West was to enable Africans as “Yes” in the language used by West. The statement by Mustafa that West brought to use the greatest form ever witnessed in Africa concurs with the postcolonial theory that West are the cause of tribal conflicts in Africa. The violence of Mustafa is nothing compared to the action of the West in Africa. Mustafa uses the same approach used by the West to colonize Africa to fight back. After the East had gained independence mostly through fighting the West, who had modern weapons, Mustafa continued with war but on Western soil.
Women in the East as portrayed in the Season of migrating are in search of identity and gender equality. In this society, women are regarded as a mere object for sexual pleasure that are inferior to their men counterpart. For instance, Hosna Mustafa’s wife is exploited in every way possible, she is even forced to wed Wad. Western may have introduced education and other forms of civilization but as Mahjoub state East may have changed but no that much. Masculinity is in charge of choosing what to adopt from the West and what not to. Men have ensured only technology, foodstuff, and education have been adopted from the western culture, but the traditional view of women has remained the same. The novel reveals the bitter reality as Hosna is condemned not only by men but also women. Wad forces Hosna to wed him, is known for his ego driven life and lust for sex. Other women who undergo the same situation are supposed to sympathize with and not condemn her. Despite his declaration of love Hosna, the narrator fails to play an active role from preventing Wad to force a marriage with her. The narrator even foresees the evil that will result from Wad marriage to Hosna and remain passive. The narrator could have married Hosna, protecting her from being forced to marry Wad thus keeping his promise to Mustafa for protecting his family.
Identity Crisis in Tayeb Salih’s ‘Season of Migration to the North.’
In Season of Migration to the North novel, Mustafa is a postcolonial hero, during his time Great Britain Mustafa uses his penis to liberate Africa. In the final chapters of the novel, Mustafa is drowned in river Nile as he attempts to solve his identity crisis. Mustafa is in control, and he attract white women through his life lies. This is until Mustafa meet Jean Morris, who tell him he is not the kind that kill. After the murder of Jean, Mustafa is in an identity crisis, this is revealed during his trial when he fails to state his identity, but he stresses that he is not Othello. Mustafa had pretended to be Othello most of his life to attract western women. After pretending to be in control most of his life, finally he gives in to the destructive forces of Nile which kill him. From his trial, Mustafa was sure that the only way to end his identity crisis was through death, drowning in river Nile mark that end. Mustafa’s identity crisis is composed of Arabic identity, European identity, and the self-acquired identity.
According to Said, Orientalism is a Western strategy of imposing and having power over the East. Mimicry, as advanced by Bhabha, denotes the blind imitation of western ideologies, fiction and way of life. It is a literature collection that establishes their superiority over ‘Other’ texts. Bhabha considers hybridity to be hazardous of provincial representation that turns around the impacts of the colonialist repudiation so that other “denied” information enter upon the overwhelming talk and offend the premise of its power. Bhabha also raises the question of cultural identity. He uses the term mimicry to indicate the Westernization of native cultures. Native cultures are imitating- it is blind- the Western culture without knowing cultural demolition of natives. Bhabha criticized Frantz Fanon’s-Fanon is one of the earliest writers associated with post-colonialism- Black Skin, White Masks. Gandhi rightly notes that, in his remarks on Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, critic Bhabha observes that memory is the essential and in some cases unsafe bridge in the middle of colonial and the topic of culture identity (Gandhi, 1998, pp. 9).
As Mustafa himself claims, he is not “Othello” who is only a manufacture of the oriental perspective. Just if characters defy the oriental outlook and item to generalizations, it appears to be likely that they will achieve a truly fulfilling life. Said’s Orientalism is evidenced in this clause. Mustafa characterizes the variation in the life of the narrator, which leads him to face the world forcefully that he was so afraid of due to its changing nature. The simple and yet melancholy inquiry of who is Mustafa is resonating all through the story, illustrating the struggle that the narrator undergoes in his tussle between pragmatism and naivety. Relentlessly inquiring the significance of self-identity as well as membership, the speaker in the novel reveals a feeling of estrangement and incongruity with Mustafa and by the means of their precious phantasm relation, the speaker deliberates on the meaning of being a native insider against being an intruding outsider.
On the other hand, since colonization was introduced by use of dangerous violence and coercion, Fanon, thus reasoned violence was the only way of resolving the colonialism problems since the colonial society only understood the language of violence (Fanon, 2007, pp. 25). “Colonialism is not a machine capable of thinking, a body endowed with reason. It is naked violence and only gives in when confronted with greater violence” (Fanon, 2007, pp. 23). For Mustafa, all his European women added to the propagation of Pilgrim persecution as long as they were from the colonizer’s race. In the event that Jean is to be typical of all colonizers, Mustafa’s decision to execute her could be deciphered as an action in which he cleanses Africa’s history by accomplishing balance through retribution. Thus Mustafa thought that by doing this, he could get rid of regret and put to an end his orthodox lifestyle that was similar to what Othello had been exposed. To ascertain his identity to Isabella, Mustafa identified himself with Othello before proceeding to proclaim his Arab-African race (Salih, 1996, pp. 38). However, during his conviction he stressed of how different he was from Othello when he was challenged by the Oriental mind, which imprisoned the two of them to constrained ethnic portrayals and stereotyping, and which did not replicate the truth. As a matter of fact, his contradictory perspective signified how hard it was for him to get his realistic identity in the face of forced tags and platitudes.
As such, Mustafa’s act of homicide sensationalizes Frantz Fanon’s craving to deliberately re-organize the racially isolated world to shape the world in which roughness ought to be seen as a purifying power with a specific end goal to free the colonized from the servitude of their masters (Fanon, 2007. Pp. 73-4). Conversely, by such actions, Mustafa sustains the racial clash since he can’t pull back himself from pioneer memory, a separation that Salih recommends is outlandish. The depiction of identity crisis is furthered through Mustafa’s feeling of superiority during his trial. Mustafa felt that he was deserving a harsh sentence to cover as punishment to what he had did for the European women. His lawyer, however, felt that he did not deserve the treatment that was to befall him. Professor Maxwell claimed that Mustafa was a morally upright man who had high integrity and was misjudged by the courts (Salih, pp. 33).
Through this depiction of the two antagonizing views of Mustafa, Salih shows identity crisis in two ways. One is through Mustafa who feel that all his actions were inept and inhumane and that he deserved punishment. This feeling is not that same he had while carrying out these atrocities where he hoped to liberate his people through sexual outrage. The second is that of a white man defending a black person who had committed crime against the white women. While colonialism depicted the white as inhumane towards the black, Professor Maxwell deterred from this course by showing support to Mustafa as his lawyer. These two instances indicate that Mustafa is equivalently in denial while he was carrying out his self-proclaimed revenge on the colonialists. They also show that the colonialists’ depiction of their inhumanity towards the black Africans is somehow too exaggerated and falsely expressed, if only the case of Professor Maxwell is considered. These instances questions on the true identity of Mustafa particularly considering his resentment during his trial.
In his revolutionary theory of approaching colonial discourse, Fanon argued that the best way out eliminate these challenges of decolonization would be best through a vehement revolution of the colonized people. In his conclusion, Fanon defined the colonialists as a ‘Manichaean’ or cataloged society that is in two parts. The decent and respectable part of them having been eroded counter to their bad side. He noted of their divisions in different societal groups such as the white and the black people, the rich and the poor, evil against humane whites, the rulers against the governed, etc. This separation led to rising in tension that could not be overlooked in the society. For full decolonizing of the colonial societies, Fanon argued that only by creating a society of equality and democracy where “the last shall be first”, shall the division no longer exist (Fanon, 2007, pp. 2). Arising with a revitalized feeling of self-confidence, determination, and self-identity, the narrator became conscious that change does not characterize the peril of his childhood years anymore. Although it is true that the world has changed along with the speaker, life itself retained its true meaning due to those who strengthen it making every instant worthy. This novel demonstrates the powers of the human mindset and eventually relates the corresponding lives of two men who crisscross the thin boundary separating insanity from insanity. This kind of revelation and revolution is what Fanon advances for when he calls for mind intellectual development (Fanon, 2007, pp. 4).
During the scene of his trial, Mustafa wishes that he never lived any longer, with the knowledge of what he had done. Mustafa had acted according to Fanon’s Theory of violence and vengeance against the colonialists. Although his lawyer effortless tried to get him acquitted him, Mustafa wanted to cry out without no reluctance, that he was an alien whose fate should be determined (Salih, 1969, pp. 94). Professor Maxwell effortlessly attempted to save him from the allegations by a claim that Mustafa was a moral man whose cognitive ability was able to uptake the Western civilization although it later broke his heart (Salih, 1969, pp. 33). However, Mustafa thought that it was untrue and only a lie to get him acquitted. He knew he was the one who killed them in a desert of thirst for vengeance. He kept thinking that he could be sentenced to be hanged to death, so as to kill the big lie that he was (Salih, 1969, pp. 33). By his thoughts, it seems that death might have been the only answer to defeat his dishonest identity and his cruel way of life that was all a lie.
Thus Mustafa thought that by doing this, he could get rid of regret and put to an end his orthodox lifestyle that was similar to what Othello had been exposed. To ascertain his identity to Isabella, Mustafa identified himself with Othello before proceeding to proclaim his Arab-African race (Salih, 1969, pp. 38). However, during his conviction he stressed of how different he was from Othello when he was challenged by the Oriental mind, which imprisoned the two of them to constrained ethnic portrayals and stereotyping, and which did not replicate the truth. As a matter of fact, his contradictory perspective signified how hard it was for him to get his realistic identity in the face of forced tags and platitudes. Through the sense that Mustafa Had recently gained, he felt that he was unclean and he yearned for death to bury his shame of his past acts. When considering Fanon’s theory through which Mustafa acted, then the use of violence for decolonization can be deduced to have a retributive action against those who adopt it. Considering all the independence fighters and states that used violence, then this instance of Mustafa proves that their chosen way of ending colonialism drove them to the predicaments that they faced after colonialism. After fighting against colonialism violently, many countries were left in anguish and not as the narrator had hinted that colonialists would leave the infrastructure intact for the natives to enjoy. Most of the countries suffered destruction of their amenities and rebuilding has been a challenge.
While courageously confronting the mysterious world of Mustafa, the author portrays how the narrator gradually audaciously recognizes all lies that Mustafa had built in his resonating life. By challenging the apparition that had almost become a descriptor of his life, the speaker apprehends that he had to go on with life and that he had to terminate everything regarding Mustafa. As he admits, he talks of how a blazing fire was set to consume these deceptions out his newly found life (Salih, 1969, pp. 128). Well informed and conclusive, the speaker discloses his makeover into a man that can deal with reality. Diving into the ice-cold Nile, the speaker is quickly filled with a stimulating sensation of wakefulness (Salih, 1969, pp. 137). Slowly, he loses the sense of his environs apart from the echo of the river. Swinging in and out of unconsciousness, the speaker lastly reach at a crucial moment in between the north and south shores. At this point, he woke up from the horrendous hallucinations, and he made it clear in his mind cleared and his association with the world was defined. He feels liberated from his choked life, and he was filled with a sense of renewal, hope, and fortitude.
In his work, Orientalism, Edward Said examined several fictitious, chronological and historical manuscripts so as to point out how the West tried to characterize the Orient as Other by use of Orientalist discourses. By depicting that the East was invaluable in terms of their culture and intellect, they were able to create a view of Western preeminence. To sustain their dehumanizing dogmas, objectives were stated in a practical way such that they appeared to be true. The imperialist supremacy relationship of the west and east furthered the beliefs, enabling the West to seem justified during colonization, which they dubbed as a ‘civilizing mission’ (Said 15). In the narrator’s description, his village signifies a sanctuary him, a symbol of stability and strength that gave him a sense of safety that assumingly shielded him from the dynamic world that surrounded him. The narrator comments that he knew that everything was fairly well with life since he felt assured since he was around his roots and had a defined purpose (Salih, 1969, pp. 4). In this regard, the narrator indicates that he felt insecure, and his words reveal how exposed he felt and how susceptible he was to the hostile whenever he was not with the protection of the village. Said’s Orientalism portrays such acts as dehumanized since the western society considered the African culture to be inhumane and uncivilized.
Colonial discourse theory also pressurizes its dependency on the notion of fixation to the conceptual creation of difference (Bhabha, 1984, pp. 130). Through the process of mimicry, colonialists made those they governed feel quite different from them, portraying a difference in identity. This racially based classification of authority made the western colonialists only to identify other societies as colonial groupings. Mustafa evoked colonial discourse so as to challenge the colonial power. The theme of mimicry is evident in his actions. As Bhabha describes it, colonial mimicry is the yearning for a transformed ‘Other’, or, posing as a threat to punitive power so that it creates semblance and menace respectively (Bhabha, 1984, pp. 128). In the course of the novel the process of colonization is inverted particularly by Mustafa’s expression, he would liberate Africa by use of his sexual power; through his penis (Salih, 1969, pp. 120). By the portrayed position that Mustafa held socially as a lecturer in England, it is possible to see that he gained power over European women similarly through his sexual subjugations due to his murderous, fraudulent plays on western females including Sheila, Isabella, and Ann. Their acquiescence to his will indicates how Mustafa accomplished to colonize them by conquering their bodies as well as their psychology. When Mustafa arrived in London, his mindset topography of the North became adjoined with another one that was feminized. The new one leads him into his intentions of conquering and conquering every woman one by one. This shows how Mustafa combat against colonization by considering western females as a sexual object to please him and fall under his command. Mustafa considers himself to be a colonizer, given her actions to those women (Salih, 1969, pp. 94). Upon the realization of Mustafa’s deceit on them, all these frustrated, resentful women commit suicide, apart from Jean Morris.
The story develops in this novel show that, through the violent female conquests that Mustafa carried out he wanted to mete out to Europe, the dilapidation that their people had levied upon the Africans. In a symbolism way, it can be said that Mustafa wanted to accomplish his afflictions to Europe by raping her. Mustafa considered the touch of those white women’s breasts as a way transferring white civilization and identity to him, making him the ruler of those women. The identity that the body of a European woman is a site of western power is evidenced here, accentuating the sense of supremacy and possession felt by those that Mustafa colonized with each of his sexual conquests (Abbas and Mitchell, 1985, pp. 20). The author understands that inter-ethnicity relations of the colonial period were seen as actions that could not be detached from historical colonization memories. This is especially true for every African man of the post-colonial period, yet the men are what largely determined the morals and norms of the African society. Thus, sex and dominance were interwoven for Mustafa, and he used them as a tool of repression to the women. Nonetheless, so as to accomplish his sexual revenge, Mustafa introduced vehemence against himself, through the willful embodiment of the great Orientalist myth-fantasy for the sake of his victims.
The novel Season of Migrating to the North act as a warning to the narrator who only cares about himself and full of self-absorption from adopting the footsteps of Mustafa. Mustafa’s mimicry overturns the presumed supremacy role of the Western preeminence and the inferiority of the colonized, reversing the power of the western colonialists (Bhabha, 1984, 127). Raised by a single mother, Mustafa seems to have inherited the desire to embrace the disguise from his mother (Salih, 1969, pp. 19). Unquestionably there nothing that can impress him, for he is like a latex ball, which is always malleable, resilient, and is not affected by the surrounding forces, he is even referred to as machine that is heartless. Despite all his schooling and freedom that he has, and the high possibility of having a bright future, Mustafa chooses to be nothing more than a captor, a man who uses his penis to liberate Africa (Salih, 1969, pp. 120). A man who takes females as cities to besiege and mountain tops for which peg are driven by ego are shoved. To Mustafa, sex is the peak of attaining selfishness.
Mustafa’s insinuations of his distinction from others began early in the novel when he claims that he was similar to a rounded object made of elastic material that doesn’t get wet when tossed in water and when thrown to the ground, it bounces back (Salih, 1969, pp. 20). This separation, even impartial rationalization, denotes that Mustafa felt distinct from others, an ethical emptiness at the core of his being. According to him, his experience is an actuality in his life, the way people were placed in his way by chance to assist him, and people for whom I had no sentiments of appreciation thus he used to take their assistance just as it were some obligation they had to perform for him (Salih, 1969, pp. 23). Mustafa’s misunderstanding of his own sacredness is the first sign of the focal result of his endeavor at absorption in the West, an endeavor that correspondingly removes him from his own kin and society. As Frantz Fanon note, each colonized people or each individual in whose spirit a feeling of inferiority has been made by the demise and internment of its local culture originality gets itself head-on with the language of the civilizing nation; that is, with the way of life of the motherland. The colonized is hoisted over his inhuman status in proportion to his adoption of the motherland’s standards.
Amid the ascension of modernization, society started to relate firmly ‘the Negro’ with the genitals (Fanon, 2007, pp. 150). Alongside the thought of exoticism and other stereotyped sexual qualities related to the African male, their image was fuelled by their sexual strength, acting to escalate the sexual craving of the white woman for the black man as an appealing Other. One could thus conclude that the black man was the subject of political colonization as well as being turned into a sexual prey of white women as the connection between prejudice and sexuality become the mastermind of the colonialist’s society. Nevertheless, in Salih’s novel, Mustafa utilized the colonial beliefs of the West against them as he yearns to free Africa from colonialism with his penis (Salih, 1969, pp. 120). Mustafa is thus ready to utilize sex as a type of racial retribution for colonization.
In the novel Season of Migration to the North, two characters use narrating to create new personalities that appear to fit conveniently into one side of the twofold that battles against one another. However, during the time spent narrating a false self into a solitary cultural setting, Mustafa and Pauline disregard the remaining constituents of their intrinsic cultural deception. Pauline declines to relate to her Chippewa community and coercively disguises in a Christian belief system, while Mustafa forms two separate personalities, a Western and a Sudanese one, both of which are built to conciliate his audience. In England, he epitomizes the over-exoticised Western model of Orientalism, whereas in Sudan, he changes into a prototypical individual from the village in which he lives. In this modification of self through narrative, the real hybrid self is lost and everyone of that remaining parts is the story that his self-has ended up.
The narrator’s revocation of Mustafa’s falsehoods is additionally his dedication to his sense of fitting in with his place and culture. He observes that although colonialists came to their territory, it does not imply that they ought to harm the present and their future since the colonizers would leave their nation at one time. The infrastructure and social amenities that they would leave behind would be for the natives, speaking the language of the foreigners without a feeling of blame or appreciation. The narrator felt that one day they might be as they were and, if they were falsehoods, then it would be in their own making (Salih, 1969, pp. 49). It is this emphasis on a national and social identity, the requisite for the Empire’s previous colonies to shape their own particular future that directs Salih’s dismissal of the colonial beliefs. As Edward Said indicates, the postcolonial scholars generally carry their past within them as scars of mortifying injuries, as induction for diverse practices, as possibly modified dreams of the past incline towards a new future, in which the past silent locals talks and follows up on territories taken back from the colonizers.
The novel Season of Migration to the North is a postcolonial book about two characters who are more or less the same trying to find their identity in their home country Sudan after a period of more than seven years in Great Britain. From the Edward Said’s postcolonial theory, we can concur that Mustafa is portrayed as a person who driven by his ego and lust for sex. Mustafa uses tools used by the West to colonize Africa to revenge for Africans. He uses the white women ignorance and naivety to use them for sexual pleasure and later deceive them to commit suicide. The story the Season of Migration to the North is a criticism of colonialism. To the final chapter of the Season of Migration to the North story is clear that most of the character if not all are trying to find their identity either through death like Mustafa or rebirth as is the case with the narrator. In the definition of the postcolonial society Hosna kill her husband and later herself thus acting against her tradition, Mustafa notion is that of colonizing Western, and Meihemeed’s has a neutral position. Meihemeed does to support any culture and he opt not to play an active role in incidence where Hosna is forced to wed wad even though he is disgusted by the forced marriage. The act of forcing Hosna to marry Wad is against a popular phrase by Ngugi Wa Thiongo “Decolonising the mind” (1998). Ngugi Wa Thiongo, who is a well-known author of postcolonial period, he emphasizes that living free from forced traditional practices is the best foundation for our modern society. The foundation should be characterized by personal freedom, gender equality, and lack of racial discrimination.
It is in the river Nile where the narrator finally establishes his self and his identity. The narrator’s intention of swimming may be unclear, but the main thing is he state the he is not part of the Nile. The balance the narrator finds in the river Nile, which enable him to stay alive, signifies the new found balance of life between him and the community. It is inside the river where the narrator state that he had never made any decision in his life. The narrator first choice is to live. He did not choose life just because he wanted to spend some time with a number for the longest time possible but also because he had duties to discharge. He started swimming toward the shore, as soon his upper part of the physique was above the water he cried for help as loud as he could.
The experience the narrator had in the river is like no other more than what he used to experience with his grandfather or when he was Mustafa’s son unconsciously. The difference is that in the river it is his baptismal, unmatched moment of his life and almost dead and he is completely separated from any masculine role model. The narrator is a completely different new being, with new identity and spirit. Inside the river, narrators experience quietness and darkness for an indeterminate period before realizing that the clouds were moving away at the same time drawing closer. The narrator also realized that the shore was rising and falling (Salih, 1969, pp. 168). The thirst for cigarette forced the narrator to swim toward the shore. In the novel, the smoking cigarette is communal and is used to express the love of life by smoking a cigarette. The thirst for cigarette symbolizes the hunger for life and community. Complementing Patricia Greesey theory that to become the most production person, the narrator rejects the negative influence of Western culture that force one to become a lie. Instead, the narrator adopts positive values from a western culture such as gender equality.
As postcolonial literature, Season of Migration to the North is a story of two replicating figures who endeavor to end up in their nation of origin after spending some time in the western world. Considering Edward Said’s theory of the oriental image, we can say that Mustafa is delineated as wicked, savage, bizarre, enigmatic black God, who seeks after his desires just to invert the colonial phase as a method for revenging against the colonizers. The novel straightforwardly criticizes colonialism and shows how it originated from the germ of brutality caused on victims who battled back against imperialism with the same mental counter attack. Mentally Mustafa tries to break down all his female victims and drives them to suicide by misdirecting them. In a way Mustafa reworks colonialism by forcing a sort of mental colonialism on ladies. Season of Migration to the North satires, through twofold voiced intertextuality, past European and Arabic messages that schematize the culturally diverse experience between Europe from one perspective and Africa and the Arab World on another (Hassan, 2003, pp.83). At the end, we plainly see that each character endeavors to make their own reality by death or rebirth in a patriarchal society nearing modernism.
Salih can be seen to be condemning how African women are carried in the village by characterizing Wad as the colonialists. However, the speaker in the novel clearly gives a lie towards Wad’s type of masculinity that is described to take heed of nothing else in a woman apart from that she is a woman (Salih, 1969, pp. 79). Despite, foreseeing that evil will occur in case Hosna is forced to wed wad. The narrator fails to marry Hosna, who he love and consequently protecting her from being forced to marry wad. The speaker segregates himself from the wrongful world that Mustafa and Wad were in, identifying women as their objects. The speaker’s fallback position solution of impotence provokes Mahjoud’s blame as the latter condemns why he didn’t marry him, claiming that the speaker is only good when it comes to talking (Salih, 1969, pp. 132).
As a matter of fact, Mahjoud’s endless criticizing of the speaker of his incapability, and he jabbed him that he was as mad as Wad when it came to loving Hosna, claiming that Hosna wasn’t worthy burying (Salih, 1969, pp. 133). This indicates that Mahjoud reduced Hosna to an object even after death, just like Wad had made her an object in his life. This statement made the speaker act rashly, a character that he had not shown throughout the book. The narrator starts to beat his friend, indicating that he felt bad that the identity of Hosna was being reduced to just an object even in death.
Possibly, Fanon surely understood the theory of decolonizing the mind and living not in an enforced society would be flawless answers to sowing the seeds of a modernized society taking into account people’s freedom, equity in gender and free of racial and social stereotypes. After the presumption that Mustafa died on the Nile, the narrator began to be uncertain of his own actuality and like his identical twofold character, he jumps into the Nile in a moment of insanity, but all of a sudden denies demise and chooses life. He advances a reason that he picked life so as to live longer since there were several people he would have wished to stay longer with and because he had specific duties to discharge (Salih, 1969, pp. 169). Also, the narrator admits that he had never had any single choice in his life until then when he made a decision and chose life (Salih, 1969, pp. 139). This explanation by the speaker demonstrates how the world no longer characterized an enemy that the speaker had to fight. Instead, it was an experience that he was to cherish since aggressiveness had proved itself a useless effort. For the speaker, the time to accept that some things could not be changed, and he had to live with them had come.
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