Song Of Solomon, Pilate Dead Exile Analysis

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Exile can be both alienating and enriching. In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Pilate Dead, experiences exile as such. Pilate's experience connects to the text's larger theme of quest for self-identity. From the moment of her birth, Pilate is "exiled". Due to the fact that she was born after her mother's death, Pilate is considered an anomaly as soon as she takes her first breath. In addition, upon her birth, she is separated from others because she is born without a navel. In childhood, Pilate is unaware of her oddity and unable to fully comprehend their implications. As she grows older, however, the knowledge of her differences alienates her. At age twelve, after her father's death, Pilate, and her brother, Macon, live in exile. After hiding away in a house for some time becomes suffocating, the two live in the woods until they separate. After leaving her brother, Pilate is determined to find her family and relieve herself of the isolating lifestyle. Unfortunately, this task is not as easy as she hopes. Within a couple of months of finding someone to take her in, Pilate's bare skin, where a navel…show more content…
"She [stops] worrying about her stomach, and [stops] trying to hide it," signifying that she cares more about embracing who she is than she does about what people think of her. Additionally, she "[throws away every assumption she had learned and [begins] at zero"(149). She refuses to continue leading a life defined by assumptions and thoughts of others rather than her own. Pilate's experience and being in control of her life separates her from the other character's in the book, such as Ruth. Pilate's overall experience with exile relates to the novel's theme of search for identity. Her experience is necessary for her determining who she is and what she hopes to get out of life. Also, her exile precedes her nephew, Milkman's,
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