Volume 4, Issue 4, December 2019, Page: 83-92
The ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Al-Tayyib Salih's Season of Migration to the North: Postcolonial Study
Redwan Gabr El-Sobky, Faculty of Arts, Menoufeya University, Shebin El-Koom, Egypt
Received: Mar. 6, 2019;       Accepted: Jul. 4, 2019;       Published: Dec. 16, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.ellc.20190404.11      View  43      Downloads  18
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Salih's Season of Migration to the North are about Man’s journey into his self, and the discoveries to be made there about the 'other'. Both novels present the unpleasant and painful experience of colonialism in Africa which has great effects on almost all faces of life such as language, education, religion, popular culture and the like. If Salih's Season of Migration to the North (1966) deals with the perceptions of people in the third world to the West, Conrad's Heart of Darkness deals with the perceptions of Europeans to the third world in Africa. The two novels illustrate that the clashes between East and West are not only external but they are internal too, forcing one to question one's place in a new culture. Marlow's self-concept consists of mental images he has of himself: physical appearance as a white, accomplishments, skills, social talents, roles, intellectual traits, and emotional states. Thus, he feels superior to other Africans. Mustafa Sa’eed's self-concept is that he is intelligent but black and inferior to the Europeans. When he talks about himself Saied sees that he has a wonderful ability for understanding and his mind is like a sharp knife. But he never made use of his intelligence as it should be. Sa’eed emerges as a person who has abused the colonial system because he was abused and destroyed by it, and who has returned to the Sudan, bearing with him the rot and destruction he has come to embody. In both novels the 'self' and the 'other' can be compared in terms of the past colonial experience. The colonial 'other' in Conrad's Heart of Darkness is presented as a vital, alive, wild, superior, triumphant and has an identity, a face, and a personage. But in Season of Migration to the North, the narrator and Mustafa Sa’eed are presented as inferior, passive and degraded. If the narrative of Season expresses a concern about future relations between Arabs and English and asks the question of whether or not Arabs and English can ever truly co-exist, the narrative of Heart of Darkness investigates the same theme but at large. Both novels are based mostly on the cultural and imperial background.
Other, Self, West Africa, Colonial Relationship, Conrad, Salih
To cite this article
Redwan Gabr El-Sobky, The ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Al-Tayyib Salih's Season of Migration to the North: Postcolonial Study, English Language, Literature & Culture. Vol. 4, No. 4, 2019, pp. 83-92. doi: 10.11648/j.ellc.20190404.11
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