Certain aspects of life can be explained in full through a single phrase. A proverb. In this case: “like father, like son.” In the novel Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, Macon Dead III, informally known as Milkman, develops relationships with many other character in his town in Michigan. The most important of which is his relationship with Hagar, who loves Milkman. Despite being together for many years, Milkman’s blunt attitude and inability to value love results in their break-up, as well Hagar attempting to murder him.
The Song of Solomon is a passage in the bible that is a series of poems. The poems are based of two lovers who compare each other to beautiful things. The two lovers are infatuated with each other. The man compares his maiden to a vineyard as she compared him to materialistic things such as jewels. One quote from the Song of Solomon is, “As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters” (2:2).
Society often views love as a beautiful concept, a power that can overcome all other conflicts. However, as romanticized as love is, the expectations of all the benefits one could gain from it are far from the reality. Toni Morrison’s 1977 Song of Solomon discusses the foundations of love through the perspective of the main character, Macon “Milkman” Dead, in such a way that undermines the traditional views readers may have. Morrison’s use of love as a motif throughout her novel reveals her message that love doesn’t always reap outstanding rewards, challenging the societal view that grandeur benefits will always arise from loving. At first glance, several of the characters Morrison develops appear to conform to society’s expectations of love.
In the novel “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison, special attention is given to the names of the characters in the novel to develop the deeper social issues at hand during this time period. Social issues including racism towards African Americans is prevalent in the novel as well as complexities in family relations. Macon Dead the third is called Milkman due to the unconventional parenting methods Ruth imposes on him. In a peculiar manner, Ruth used Milkman by making him breastfeed with her far beyond the appropriate age. She enjoyed the sensuality of the event and her character is further tainted with references to her having an affair with her father and exhibiting creepy behaviors towards him while he lay dead in his bed.
More than thirty years after its release, Toni Morrison’s novel, Song of Solomon, still affects society. Every time anyone reads her tale of Milkman, Guitar and her other characters, new speculations are created as readers try to comprehend the main idea of the novel. Through all the shifts and turns of the many characters in Song of Solomon, some readers contemplate that the novel’s main focus is on financial segregation of characters, referencing characters such as the middle class Milkman and lower class Guitar, while other readers define the novel as a cultural reflection of racism in the United States, detailing the racism that is put on display several times throughout the novel. Ralph Story, one of many readers, chooses to see the novel as a critique of early 20th century society which adopts the “seven days” group as a link to actual groups that were present during the time.
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.
The “Siren Song” was written by Margaret Atwood and was part of her 1974 collection, You Are Happy. Her poem is based off Homer’s The Odyssey, where the hero Odysseus is able to resist the sirens, but his men were attracted by the melodic voice of the sirens. Atwood adapts this myth by creating her poem from the perspective of one of the sirens, which is in first-person voice. The way Atwood structured her poem is concise because it represents the three sirens in Greek mythology. Atwood’s use of word choice is very clever and particular because it makes the reader feel sorry for the siren and makes the reader want to help save her.
During this time period, men were responsible for taking care of the family financially and making final decisions, while women handled domestic work and childcare. Men did not do. For example, Milkman has decided that Hagar is worthless, therefore she is worthless. The women in Song of Solomon are so
Throughout the poem Siren Song by Margaret Atwood evidence is shown how the men at sea imagined their angels taking them to heaven as they crashed to end their misery caused by depression and loneliness at sea. On line six of Siren Song Atwood refers to the "beached skulls" the sailors see before leaping into deaths embrace.
Song of Solomon, set between the 1930s and the 1960s, alludes to many milestones for black culture in the 20th century: the rise of the New Deal Coalition, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, etc. We rarely meet any white characters, but we know that an oppressive white world exists just outside the black world. The few times that white characters do enter the novel, the consequences are immediate and devastating. White people in Song of Solomon are a source of harm for black people: Macon Dead I is murdered by a wealthy white family, and Guitar’s father dies in a factory accident because of his white boss’s negligence. One form that blacks’ racism against other blacks takes is economic.