Milkman And Pilate In Song Of Solomon

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Within the novel “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison, physical deformity is a commonly touched upon subject for both Milkman and Pilate. These physical deformities bring great changes upon their lives, even if the deformities are minor, or in ones own head. The deformity which Milkman is afflicted with involves his one leg being slightly shorter than the other, with him being the only one to notice it. Pilate is almost the opposite: she has a missing navel, which she seems to not care about whatsoever, but attracts great attention from everyone else. These deformities make the characters feel outcast from society, or not compareable to others, therefore scuplting their characters throughout the novel. While Milkman is a teenager, he begins…show more content…
Pilate is born without a navel, which causes her to be alienated by others. Ironically enough, she is nearly opposite to Milkman on how she deals with the deformity. Whilst Milkman is incredibly self counscious of his leg, trying to hide it from the general public in every way that he possibly can, Pilate seems to not care at all about her navel. It is only other people who care so deeply about it, and because of her lack of a navel, others come to think of her as inhuman. Furthermore, unlike Milkman's leg, a deformity which was “mostly in his head”, Pilate's navel is a real deformity. She just doesn't think it effects he life in any sort of meaningful way, and doesn't like it do so, unlike Milkman, who lets his leg control huge decisions in his life involving his family and others. It is also a possiblity that her lack of a navel was a part of her being shunned by her own brother, Macon. He describes her as a snake while telling Milkman to stay away from her, showing that he believes she isn't human. “A snake, I told you. Ever hear the story about the snake? The man who saw a little baby snake on the ground? Well, the man saw this baby snake bleeding and hurt. Lying there in the dirt. And the man felt sorry for it and picked it up and put it in his basket and took it home. And he fed it and took care of it till it was big and strong. Fed it the same thing he ate. Then one day, the snake turned on him and bit him. Stuck his poison tongue right in the man’s heart. And while he was laying there dying, he turned to the snake and asked him, ‘What’d you do that for?’ He said, ‘Didn’t I take good care of you? Didn’t I save your life?’ The snake said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Then what’d you do it for? What’d you kill me for?’ Know what the snake said? Said, ‘But you knew I was a snake, didn’t you?’ Now, I mean for you to stay out of that wine house and as far away from Pilate as you can” (Morrison, 54,
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