The Great Depression In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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Toni Morrison's novel “Song of Solomon,” is influenced by many historical events. The fictitious novel begins after the stock market crash in the 1928, making it take place in the height of the Great Depression. The Great Depression’s influence on the text can easily be seen in chapter one within a conversation between Macon Jr. (a landlord) and Mrs. Bains (one of his tenants). Macon Jr. arrived at his office to find “a stout woman… standing a few feet away” (23). Macon Jr. does do so much as greet the woman, implying that he already knows what she wants and they do not share a good history. Macon Jr. wasted no time in getting to the key reason why she came over to his office by asking “you got something for me?” (23). This is the first context the reader receives of their situation, and clearly depicts what drives their conversation: money. Instead of answering Macon’s question, Mrs. Bains describes her situation regarding her “relief check”. This is the first excuse that the reader hears from Mrs. Bains. This response was very similar to the circumstances faced by many during the Great Depression: economic adversity. Macon Jr. appears to heard this song and dance a plentiful amount of times, and proceeds to remind Mrs. Bains of her “four” dollar rent and her “two month” tardiness. While this seems harsh, Macon Jr. shows no “conflict” in his voice, and is simply doing his job.…show more content…
Bains sidesteps his question, and tries to further describe her situation in order to gain more sympathy, “...but babies can’t make it with nothing to put in their stomach,” (23) adding to the illustration of the economic burden she faces. This second attempt further proves Macon Jr’s initial assumption that she wants something from him, another extension for her rent. His frank response, “Can they make it on the street…?” (23) shifts his tone from questioning to candid. This is the second time that he show no sympathy to Mrs. Bains. Macon her until “Saturday” to rustle up the
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