Song Of Solomon Theme Analysis

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Unexpected breaches of trust are a recurring theme in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. For example, Milkman attempts to plunder Pilate’s house, despite his close connection with and adulation for her, to cater to his selfish desire for gold. Similarly, Guitar nearly murders Milkman due to his delusions and his own ambitions to obtain the gold. However, one instance of this idea is arguably the most prominent: Macon’s discovery of Dr. Foster’s foibles, and the incestuous relationship between Dr. Foster and Macon’s wife, Ruth. Through the drastic changes in Macon’s personality this leads to, this subplot demonstrates the effects of a betrayal of trust. To justify his abuse of Ruth, Macon outlines to Milkman the changes in his perception of…show more content…
Foster and Ruth have had on Macon. Macon’s newfound contempt for Dr. Foster is evident, as he states that he “was very disappointed in him.” (71) However, his interaction with Milkman also shows the indignation and resentment caused by their betrayal, as he feels that “they’d ganged up on [him] forever.” (71) Macon’s previously intimate relationship with Rush has now turned acrimonious, as shown by his “regret … [for not] killing her.” (74) Finally, with the powerful, untempered allegation that “[Dr. Foster] didn’t give a damn about [his admirers],” (71) Macon summarizes his interactions with Dr. Foster. The effects that Dr. Foster’s betrayal had on Macon are present in nearly all the instances of this theme in Song of Solomon. A case in point - once Guitar believes Milkman has absconded with the gold, he does not regain his old friendship with Milkman. Initially attempting to murder Milkman (279), he later accuses him of being “just greedy, like [his] old man.” (295 - 296). His newfound incapability to trust Milkman shows that an irreparable rift has developed between them due to this perceived betrayal of
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