Religion is one of the most powerful forces on the human race. It influences billions of people all over the world. “84 percent of the world has faith” (Jennifer Harper). It is mind boggling that 5.8 billion people have faith in a higher power, considering this requires giving complete, blind allegiance to something that has no factually based evidence to back it up. To believe something that is told without proof, and not having any doubt or questions about said thing, is simply preposterous. Oblivious adherence is detrimental to the intelligence of the masses.
Written by the great Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon is where the song of African- Americans is sung with the most genuine and sincere voice in utmost entirety. In this essay, the masterpiece will be examined with gender studies approach and cultural studies approach, the function of Pilate and Ruth would be examined in depth, the suggestion that the protagonist should be more loving and caring for others would be fully explained, and the value of this book will be carefully examined.
In the 1977 novel, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. Morrison highlights the running theme of love. The theme of love is present in every relationship in the novel and is defined different from character to character. The women display love as a way of obsession whether it is over their spouses or over materialistic possessions. The men, however; define it differently, many are distant and secluded when it comes to expressing affection and love. This underlying theme significantly contributes to the overall storyline providing a unique characterization to each character, allowing the reader to really experience the character’s emotional development through the novel. The theme of love can be identified from the very beginning of the novel.
Toni Morrison frequently incorporates her familial background into her literary works. She is an African-American female author who was told African myths and folktales by her family members, who she credits for “instilling in her a love of reading, music and folklore” (“Toni Morrison”). Morrison is fully in touch with and appreciative of her ancestral background, and because of this, she reiterates these tales in her writings. In Song of Solomon, Morrison employs a wide variety of African cultural traditions and folklores to create a unique narrative regarding an African-American man’s quest for self-discovery and his true cultural identity, one that is absent from his current community.
“I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved” (Romans 9:25). Toni Morrison’s Beloved is filled to the brim with allusions, specifically and most often to the Bible. In using a verse from Romans as her epigraph, she sums up the entirety of her novel in a few simple words. The novel is about acceptance and a mother’s love. They who were not previously her people will become known as her people, and those who were not previously loved will become beloved. This religious preaching of tolerance and caring is provided as an encapsulation of the entire novel, and helps readers understand exactly what the novel is about. Throughout Beloved, there are several other major examples of religious allusion.
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
William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying follows the Bundren family on a journey while it explores the subject of heroism and discusses its subjectivity. The family travels on an expedition to bury Addie, the deceased mother of the protagonist, Darl Bundren, and his siblings. As days continue to pass, however, the journey seemed interminable. During the adventure, the family takes a stop at Gillespie’s barn for the evening. While they rest Darl sets the barn, in which the coffin sits, ablaze. Darl Bundren’s act of arson exhibits heroism because he performed the act for the sake of others. Faulkner uses irony to subvert the preconceived notions of heroism. Although the protagonist was sent to a mental institute at the end of the novel for
Macon Dead III, commonly known as Milkman, is Ruth and Macon’s son. He is born the day when Mr. Robert Smith suicidal flies off the hospital’s roof and for that reason he is the first black baby born in the usual unmerciful, racist No Mercy Hospital in 1931. As the son of Ruth and Macon Dead, he is part of the upper black society in a wealthy, privileged family. Grown up under these circumstances, Milkman has a traumatized father since his father witnessed the murder of Jake, Macon’s father, trying to protect his land which is in the way of powerful white people as a young guy. Thereby, his family becomes “a victim of social violence and racism in the hostile south of the USA” and this event leaves a deep impression in Macon’s character (Gomez R. 118). So Macon had never experienced a happy childhood and since his mother died in childbirth, he has never had somebody caring for him. Consequently, Milkman grows up without a model father or loving husband.
Within society, materialism is often associated with success and prosperity. In the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, there was a pattern of how even though the most successful characters were also the most materialistic, they were not always the happiest. Two characters that were at either end of the scale of materialism were Macon and Pilate. These very different lifestyles that Macon and Pilate lived, Macon being heavily materialistic and Pilate not at all, caused them to develop different attitudes that were influenced heavily by materialism. Through the analysis of the mystery of Pilate’s and Macon’s lifestyles, Morrison illustrates that materialism destroys people and prevents them from achieving freedom.
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is a novel that is set in the 20th century, Michigan which follows the life of Macon Dead III, who gets the nickname milkman. His sisters are Magdalene, who is called Lena, and First Corinthians. His parents are Ruth and Macon Dead Jr. Unlike most African American families during this time period, the Dead family were financially stable and could afford things that were deemed luxurious. Even though they had money, they still were unhappy with their lives. This shows that you can be living ,but you can also be dead. The word dead generally means that a person is no longer living ,but another meaning is that one is deprived of life. The dead family is deprived of life because they are unlucky to experience the joys of happiness. You are truly unhappy if money is the only thing you care for.
Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon is an examination on the importance of self-identity in African-American society and the effects of a name. Names and labels are used to describe and symbolize people, places, and things, serving as a brief definition of the subject. Toni Morrison uses this definition in order to analyze the effects redefining or naming had on African Americans heritage and culture after their emancipation. Throughout the story, the central protagonist Macon Dead III or Milkman, searches his family’s history to reclaim his past and recreate himself. America’s history of slavery and it’s lasting effects have allowed African-American society and cultural identity to be dictated by the white majority. Although the horrors
Economic privileges generally blind people to the unfavorable social conditions of their community, as wealth is commonly used as a method of physical escape. As a result, many of those belonging to this socio economic strata continue to live under the illusions of an idealistic identity, as they fear to uncover a past that may disrupt their supposed utopian lifestyle. The rare amount of people who defy and challenge the blindness evoked by economic privileges are usually awarded with a mental awakening in which they will uncover a social purpose beyond the pursuit of materialistic wealth. In the Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison explores the social transition of Milkman, a privileged individual, through the use of a spiritual awakening. Due to
In Song of Solomon, written by Toni Morrison, deep concern for not only the existence and development of the black community is shown, but also for human beings in general. Questions such as “Why and how are individuals isolated from society?”, “What voice is created in isolation?”, and even “How does an individual resolve conflict between personal ethics and social morality?” strictly apply to Song of Solomon. Milkman, the protagonist, embarks on an unwitting search for his roots and ties to the black community, all while feeling isolated from society. As a whole, the Dead Family effectively shows how an individual begins to become isolated from society, and how they may resolve the issue of lack of sense of belonging. Morrison’s work illustrates the voice and feelings that are existing as a result of isolation.
In Song of Solomon, Morrison illustrates internalized racism through appearance, self-worth and love as important components of self-identity. The book Song of Solomon by Tori Morrison is about African Americans who search for their cultural identity. One of the main characters, Macon “Milkman” Dead is isolated from his family, his community, and his historical and cultural roots. His aunt, Pilate and his best friend, Guitar helps on his physical and spiritual journey to reconnect with his past and realize his self-worth. However, he is not the only character who has a hard time coping with her appearance and identity. Steve Marabli once said, “Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for