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Season of Migration to the North
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message 1: by John (new) - added it

John Seymour 7. Salih makes a point of explaining the political views of both the prosecuting and the defense attorney in Mustafa Sa'eed's trial. Why might this information be salient? And what is the significance of the fact that the prosecutor is a liberal and the defense attorney is a conservative?


Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
I will have to think about this question but I do want to comment that I did not understand how someone could be prosecuted because a person committed suicide.

I understand that he was charged for the death of his wife. I think he must have gotten by with a light sentence because it was a crime of passion by a man from another culture.


Book Wormy | 2064 comments Mod
I am with Kristel I don't believe you could be prosecuted for the actions of someone else and his wife's murder was just bizarre to me.


message 4: by John (new) - added it

John Seymour IIRC, it wasn't just political positions, the prosecutor liked and befriended Mustafa at school and the defense counsel had disliked him, yet the prosecutor was doing his best to convict Mustafa and the defense counsel to defend him.

I wonder if this might be best understood in light of my suggestion in another question that Season of Migration to the North is best understood as a metaphor against colonialism. Thus the liberal professor seeks to condemn the colonialist while the conservative defends him. Does Salih mean this as a criticism of Sudan adopting British justice institutions?


message 5: by Pip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pip | 1448 comments The murder of Jean was not satisfactorily explained, in my opinion. The suicide of his other lovers, one of whom also had cancer, would have been brought to the trial by the prosecution as evidence of his callous attitude to women. I like to think that Salih was highlighting the nuances of the British justice system. At least life imprisonment is not a usual sentence!


message 6: by John (new) - added it

John Seymour Pip wrote: "The murder of Jean was not satisfactorily explained, in my opinion. The suicide of his other lovers, one of whom also had cancer, would have been brought to the trial by the prosecution as evidence..."

I can't speak to how faithful this is to the British system. In the U.S. system I can't imagine a court allowing the suicides in - hugely prejudicial and zero probative value as to Mustafa's guilt in the case in which he is actually charged. But why on earth is there a trial? He admits killing her. That's one reason I think the whole thing is intended as a trial of colonialism.


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