Pilate Character Analysis

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Pilate is Milkman’s aunt and his father’s younger sister. Tough she belongs to the Dead’s family, she seems to be not part of it since she neglects the materialistic Western lifestyle of the Deads. In contrast, Pilate is the embodiment of independent women, motherly love and Southern values in an industrialized capitalist North. She does not value social norms and rules and rejects adaption to it. Morrison describes Pilate as a character contradicting to standards in society by her outer appearance and her home at the outskirt of town. Her self-made earring, her short hairs, and her shabby outfits distinguish her from mainstream and express her uniqueness. Furthermore, her female-centered home where she earns her living by making wine indicates…show more content…
Not dead to history and her like his family, she proudly carries her name and identity in her earring and is not ashamed of it. Rather, Pilate embraces her past and what she has learned throughout her travels is important to her. Therewith, she gives Milkman a legacy he cannot get at his own home by becoming the missing part in his life since this knowledge and legacy is what Milkman still misses. Pilate is the first who tells him of his ancestor’s life and the events of the past offering him a loving…show more content…
While his family lives in wealth, Pilate does only own the bare essentials. However, her home is a welcoming place, a place where Milkman immediately feels at home. In this home, loathed by Macon, Milkman finds peace and freedom. As a parental guide, Milkman experiences a different love than at home. “Not that Pilate or Reba felt the possessive love for him that his mother did, but they had accepted him without questions and with all the ease in the world. They took him seriously too. Askes him questions and thought all his responses to things were important enough to laugh at or quarrel with him about” (XX). Milkman finds comfort and starts to like being with people of lower classes. Being around Pilate is foreshadowing for his rebirth already indicated by their first encounter when Pilates offers him
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