Like Father Like Son In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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Certain aspects of life can be explained in full through a single phrase. A proverb. In this case: “like father, like son.” In the novel Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, Macon Dead III, informally known as Milkman, develops relationships with many other character in his town in Michigan. The most important of which is his relationship with Hagar, who loves Milkman. Despite being together for many years, Milkman’s blunt attitude and inability to value love results in their break-up, as well Hagar attempting to murder him. Additionally, there is Milkman’s father, Macon Dead II, also simply known as Macon Dead, who is the wealthiest man in town. Macon constantly feels the need to show off his wealth as well as be the most powerful person he…show more content…
When he first meets Hagar he initially cannot see her face, “but Milkman had no need to see her face; he had already fallen in love with her behind” (43). In most societies, a person’s face is normally associated with their identity, their personality, and who they are as a human being. Milkman’s disregard for Hagar’s face when he supposedly falls in love with her illustrates that he does not value Hagar as a person, rather he sees her as a temporary source of happiness. Furthermore, the fact that Milkman “has fallen in love with her behind” perpetuates the fact that he does not value and only views her as a source of pleasure. Later in the novel Milkman also clearly states that Hagar “was the third beer…the one you drink because it’s there, because it can’t hurt, and because what difference does it make” (91)? Firstly, this comparison to a “beer” connotes Milkman’s opinion that Hagar is just a quick glass of pleasure that will soon run out. Secondly, the word “third” connotes that Hagar is only one of the refillable sources of happiness in Milkman’s life. This communicates that he does not appreciate the various sources of love in his life. Thirdly, the rhetorical question “what difference does it make?” clearly states Milkman’s opinion that he sees no real love in his relationship with Hagar and does not understand the consequences of disregarding the thoughts and…show more content…
Success is what separates Macon Dead from every other person in town, and for that reason he feels the need to show off. On many of his family drives through town “Macon Dead’s Packard [would roll] slowly down Not Doctor Street” (32). Macon’s need for his expensive car to “slowly” drive down the nearly financially struggling streets of town conveys his need to let others know of his success and wealth. This desire to show off highlights Macon’s insecurity about his own success and that he feels as though someone is out to get him. His pleasure in showing also stated when the novel explains that “for him it was a way to satisfy himself that he was indeed a successful man” (31). The word “satisfy” connotes that there are points in Macon’s life that he feels he is not satisfied with his success, which once again conveys he insecure about himself. Furthermore, his need to receive praise from others to verify his wealth and power illustrates his actual lack of power despite being the wealthiest man around. If he was indeed powerful he would not need to see the faces of the less fortunate people, who were in fact amused, as the car went by. Speaking reactions, the people in town saw Macon’s car as a ride for the dead. They believed that “the Packard had no real lived life at all. So they called it

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