locked room in season of migration to the north. what was it really and where does it fit in the novel as a whole?
Answers 1Add Yours
The narrator waits until he enters Mustafa’s private room to relate the most violent and sexually charged memories from Mustafa’s story in Chapter 2. By adding pieces to Mustafa’s story retroactively, the narrator undermines his own reliability; knowing that he has excised parts of the story in Chapter 2 invites questioning about what else he has excised from the story. It also enhances the mystique of the private room. None of the memories that we read about in Chapter 9 are actually new to the narrator; he has known about them since he was a young man. The private room is really just an ornate study. By waiting until the end of the novel to reveal the story of Jean Morris’s murder, Salih endows the objects in the room with symbolism, and in doing so, confines Mustafa’s story to that room—allowing the narrator to lock the door and move on with his life.