In the book Seasons of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, discuss Salih's narrative method. Why do you think he makes a nameless narrator tell us Mustafa Sa'eed's story? Describe the relationship between Mustafa and the narrator. Why is the narrator intrigued by Mustafa, and how does meeting Mustafa change him?

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The unnamed narrator serves both as a kind of Everyman and as a symbol of colonialism (more than as a distinct individual). While this person upholds the apparatus of the colonial state, Mustafa, who increasingly rejected the supposed benefits of privilege, epitomizes the inescapable deformity that British rule imposed on...

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The unnamed narrator serves both as a kind of Everyman and as a symbol of colonialism (more than as a distinct individual). While this person upholds the apparatus of the colonial state, Mustafa, who increasingly rejected the supposed benefits of privilege, epitomizes the inescapable deformity that British rule imposed on the Sudan's people.

Lured into complacency by the comforts and trappings of his status, the narrator passively observes the new round of challenges, imagining himself immune to the political fray. Mustafa's story, in contrast, shows how a man can be broken in a passionate encounter with the colonizers' world.

As Mustafa's life spirals out of control and finally ends, the narrator realizes he is trying to hold together an empty shell. Trying in vain to help Mustafa's family, the narrator now sees there are no meaningful solutions. He accepts the falseness of the whole system and the fact that his life also bears out Mustafa's fundamental assessment: "I am a lie."

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