Milkman In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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In Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, an African American man named Macon Dead III, also known as Milkman, struggles to find the truth behind his name and background. Milkman and his broken family live on the Southside of Michigan. His mother, Ruth Foster, suffers from the lack of intimacy with her husband and uses her son as a coping mechanism. His father, Macon Dead Jr., is a materialistic man who does not want to endure the same fate as his father, Macon Dead Sr.(who had been murdered for his land, Lincoln’s Heaven.) Neither of the parents give his two sisters, Magdalena and First Corinthians, attention, leading them to envy Milkman for being the center of their world. When Milkman is set on his odyssey in search of gold, he uncovers his family’s…show more content…
As a mother, teacher, and spiritual guide, she gives Milkman the affection, comfort, and wisdom that he does not get at home. Catherine Carr Lee states that: ”Pilate begins by instructing Milkman in practical, everyday knowledge: to say what you mean...Because she values nothing but human relationships...” For instance, Milkman and Guitar attempted robbery for the “gold’ in Pilate’s house, but end up getting arrested until Pilate comes to the rescue and they realize it was just a sack of bones. She pays no mind to the fact that they stole from her and puts on an act to prevent them from going to jail. “She didn’t even look the same. She looked short. Short and pitiful”(205) and lies to the police that the bones were her husband's and she couldn't afford a proper…show more content…
When young Milkman first greets Pilate, “Hi”(36) she replies with “What kind of word is that?”(36) and “You all must be the dumbest unhung Negroes on earth...You say ‘Hi’ to pigs and sheep when you want ‘em to move. When you tell a human being ‘Hi’ he ought to get up and knock you down”(37) by saying this, she teaches him what's right and wrong, and what's good and bad to say. Despite Macon Dead Jr. unreasonable warning for Milkman to stay away from her, Milkman continues to visit Pilate and their relationship continues to develop. Carr Lee briefly explains their relationship in the following statement: “He recognizes, briefly, that his actions affect other people, and he also realizes that by hurting Pilate, he has hurt himself. Pilate is also Milkman's closest link with the sustaining power of the past.” Although Milkman may not realize, Pilate continues to watch over him in order to insure that he belongs
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