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Season of Migration to the North
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John Seymour 5. What is the significance of the narrator's choice not to intervene in Hosna's marriage to Wad Rayyes?

Kristel (kristelh) | 4209 comments Mod
I think early on in the book, the narrator mentions that some still take more than one wife and some have (and his village) take only one wife.

I think it also lends to feelings of guilt because he chose to do nothing.

Diane Zwang | 1293 comments Mod
Definitely guilt as she clearly explained what would happen if she was forced to marry again. His indecision lead to disastrous results.

Book Wormy | 2065 comments Mod
He is also away when the marriage happens so even if he wanted to intervene he was not there to do so.

I think it was also a religious consideration as he was already married.

Tracy (tstan) | 559 comments He did say that it was tradition for men in his village to have only one wife, but that was an excuse. I think he was in love with her, but afraid of those feelings, as well as trying to distance himself from Mustafa's shadow.

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John Seymour I am puzzled by the significance and wonder if Salih is suggesting that the narrator has been corrupted by his British education, that a true Sudanese would have seen the obvious course to be to take Hosna as his second wife. While his family was known to be monogamous, I don't think this applied to everyone in the village - certainly not Wad Rayyes.

message 7: by Pip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pip | 1451 comments She had asked him for a marriage in name only, to protect her from being married off against her will. To make such a suggestion was horrific to others in the village. Everyone would have known this, as secrets (such as Mustafa's room) are almost impossible in a village. He ignored her plea, as he ignored the corruption he saw. He was not a man of action!

message 8: by Patrick (new) - added it

Patrick Robitaille | 976 comments I think this also refers to the clash of cultures between the North (Western) and the South (Muslim), the desire for the narrator to remain monogamous in a society that accepts (and promotes to some extent) polygamy.

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