Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih, is a narrative story of two Sudanese men, one being the narrator and the other, Moustafa Sa"eed, who after spending several years in the England return back home. Although the narrator merely goes there to get higher education, it is not so for Moustafa. The key reason for his coming back is a murder that he commits for which he's sentenced to jail. At times Moustafa is shown as a very erratic, irrational character but it is through him that we learn and understand much about the North. The author also shows various episodes of the life of the South and how the people of either side; north and south, regard and think of the other. Some of the main themes that Salih puts forth which show the contrast and the stereotype of the two sides are the family, women, and the political and cultural dominance of one on another.
The first thing that catches ones eye at the very beginning is the showing of the closeness of people in the South. When the narrator returns home from his stay in the North, we are shown how the whole family is extremely rejoiced at his home-coming and he feels as if " a piece of ice were melting inside of [him]-, and as though he was some " frozen substance on which the sun had shone - that life warmth of the tribe which [he] had lost for a time in a land "whose fish die of cold" " (1). This explains how closely knit the family and the people are in the South and how every person from the family is a part of the whole. Another time he symbolizes his family and tribe as a palm tree with its " roots that strike down into the ground- and he experiences " a feeling of assurance-, showing once again that he has a backbone and a heritage on which he can lean on, admire and be proud of. The North, on the other hand is shown as a place where people have very little if not any background, roots or lineage, and where they are more or less very independent and don't get tremendous support from their families.