Magic Realism In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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Blue Wings, Missing Navel, Father’s Ghost

Robert Smith’s wings blue silk wings curl around his chest as he prepares to jump. The ghost of a dead father beckons into the dark maw of a cave. These two examples of Magic realism are from Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Morrison uses Magic Realism to weave supernatural elements into a realistic narrative and describe magical people, objects, and places as if they are a customary part of their world. While a man growing wings, a girl without a navel, and a ghost are all fictitious, these examples of Magic Realism throughout the text portray a facet of the African American experience during the 1900s. Throughout Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison employs Magic Realism through Robert Smith’s blue wings, …show more content…

Pilate was born without a navel. Her stomach is “as smooth and sturdy as her back, at no place interrupted by a navel” (32). This feature is an example of Magic Realism, as all children are born with a navel, yet this magical absence of one is portrayed in a mundane, uninteresting manner. Pilate is a loving mother, a literal pilot for Milkman and Guitar, a selfless woman with an almost supernatural ability to defend her family. Still, upon seeing her lack of a navel, a man with whom she was planning to sleep with explains “What are you? Some kinda mermaid?” (136). Even the narrator asserts; “It (the navel) isolated her… every other resource was denied her: partnership in marriage, confessional friendship, and communal religion. Men frowned, women whispered and shoved their children behind them” (136). The way she is treated due to her navel mirrors the way in which African American people would be seen by white people at the time - different, dangerous, undeserving of basic resources. No matter how caring or powerful she is, she is viewed only as an abnormality, a woman who should not even exist. Through the Magic Realism of the missing navel, Morrison emphasizes the unjust and alienating treatment of African American

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