Symbolism Of Home In Song Of Solomon

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Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon tells the story of Macon “Milkman” Dead, a character completely alienated from his community, his family and his heritage. The readers follow his journey, during which he attempts to find his “inheritance” of gold that his father, Macon Dead, believes was hidden by Pilate Dead. Instead, he travels to the fictional town of Shalimar where his family line began in America in order to fully understand the cultural heritage that has been left for him - in the process experiencing an understanding of the word home. Home is often represented by the motif of cherries, which different people in Milkman’s immediate family - eventually including Milkman encounter throughout the book. Even though these events are …show more content…

When Macon reminisces to Milkman of his childhood on the farm “Lincoln’s Heaven” and of his father, the details he includes are rather peculiar. He says that it was a “little bit a place” that “looked big” to him and had a stream that ran into “the heart of a valley”. He vividly described “wild turkey the way Papa cooked it”, what he considered the best part of the farm, saying that you’ve “tasted nothing” before trying it. He completes his description of his past home by offhandedly remarking that they had “fruit trees. Apple, cherry.” While this is only the second time cherries have been mentioned in the book, the word is now associated with a strong feeling of home. Another instance of cherry trees occurs after the younger Macon and Pilate flee the site of their father’s murder and stay the night at Circe’s home. “[Pilate] wanted her own cherries, from her own cherry tree, with stems and seeds; not some too-sweet mashed mush.” Morrison’s language usage tells the reader a lot about twelve-year-old Pilate’s homesickness. Circe’s jam is said not to have “stems and seeds” like real cherries, signifying that while Circe is considered a close confidant for the children to run to her for protection, she would not be considered home - further proven by the fact that they flee the house soon after. Furthermore, the jam is considered a “mush”, as if it were rotten - which is exactly what Pilate

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