Chapter 6: “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” – The Killers In chapter 6, during a conversation between Milkman and Guitar, Milkman questions Guitar about his secretive behavior, to which Guitar first denies, but then explains; he is involved in a secret black group called the Seven Days. In the Seven Days, each of the seven members is assigned to a day of the week and randomly kill a white person every time a black person is murdered. These killings are done on the same day of the week as the original black murder was committed, and Guitar considers the Seven Days works as acts of revenge that are necessary to keep the ratio of blacks to whites balances. Milkman expresses his concern for Guitar, saying that his killings are crazy and becoming a
Throughout Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, music is a driving omnipresent force, revealing hidden truths about Milkman, Macon, and Pilate. If we were to apply a Freudian framework to Milkman’s familial life, Macon would be his ego – eternally in need of material possessions in order to create an image of himself he can admire – and Pilate would be his id – buried emotions and subconscious desires, overshadowed by his unforgivingly-egotistical Macon Dead exterior. Over the course of Milkman’s journey, music acts as a God-like omniscient presence, ultimately guiding him back to where he started, but flipped: instead of Pilate singing to Milkman as he is born, Milkman sings to Pilate as she dies. And the song itself plays into this reversal: Pilate sings “O Sugarman done fly away” at the birth of Milkman, and when Pilate has no words left to sing at the end of the novel, Milkman sings the
In the novel “Song of Solomon,” Morrison tackles many aspects of racial disparity by relating events in the novel to occurrences in history. A few parallels can be seen within Guitar’s and Milkman’s discussion in chapter six. In their discussion, Milkman recently discovers Guitar’s involvement in a radical group called “The Seven Days.” The group’s purpose is to seek vengeance for unjust, violent acts carried out by whites. Additional, parallels can be made between Guitar and the radical civil rights activist Malcolm-X.
In Song of Solomon, Morrison illustrates internalized racism through appearance, self-worth and love as important components of self-identity. The book Song of Solomon by Tori Morrison is about African Americans who search for their cultural identity. One of the main characters, Macon “Milkman” Dead is isolated from his family, his community, and his historical and cultural roots. His aunt, Pilate and his best friend, Guitar helps on his physical and spiritual journey to reconnect with his past and realize his self-worth. However, he is not the only character who has a hard time coping with her appearance and identity.
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. This shows that you can be living ,but you can also be dead.
Within society, materialism is often associated with success and prosperity. In the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, there was a pattern of how even though the most successful characters were also the most materialistic, they were not always the happiest. Two characters that were at either end of the scale of materialism were Macon and Pilate. These very different lifestyles that Macon and Pilate lived, Macon being heavily materialistic and Pilate not at all, caused them to develop different attitudes that were influenced heavily by materialism. Through the analysis of the mystery of Pilate’s and Macon’s lifestyles, Morrison illustrates that materialism destroys people and prevents them from achieving freedom.
Written by the great Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon is where the song of African- Americans is sung with the most genuine and sincere voice in utmost entirety. In this essay, the masterpiece will be examined with gender studies approach and cultural studies approach, the function of Pilate and Ruth would be examined in depth, the suggestion that the protagonist should be more loving and caring for others would be fully explained, and the value of this book will be carefully examined. Part One: Critical Approach A significant character in Song of Solomon, Corinthians the First, can be analyzed through the gender studies approach and the cultural studies approach.
Before the journey, superficial things clouded Milkman’s judgement. He sees no importance in social inequality or why race is so significant, “The racial problems that consumed Guitar were the most boring of all. He wondered what they would do if they didn’t have the black and white problems to talk about. Who would they be if they couldn’t describe the insults, violence, and oppression that their lives (and the television news) were made up of?” (107-108).
Economic privileges generally blind people to the unfavorable social conditions of their community, as wealth is commonly used as a method of physical escape. As a result, many of those belonging to this socio economic strata continue to live under the illusions of an idealistic identity, as they fear to uncover a past that may disrupt their supposed utopian lifestyle. The rare amount of people who defy and challenge the blindness evoked by economic privileges are usually awarded with a mental awakening in which they will uncover a social purpose beyond the pursuit of materialistic wealth. In the Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison explores the social transition of Milkman, a privileged individual, through the use of a spiritual awakening. Due to
Toni Morrison frequently incorporates her familial background into her literary works. She is an African-American female author who was told African myths and folktales by her family members, who she credits for “instilling in her a love of reading, music and folklore” (“Toni Morrison”). Morrison is fully in touch with and appreciative of her ancestral background, and because of this, she reiterates these tales in her writings. In Song of Solomon, Morrison employs a wide variety of African cultural traditions and folklores to create a unique narrative regarding an African-American man’s quest for self-discovery and his true cultural identity, one that is absent from his current community. One of the most prominent African myths discussed
Hagar, Pilate, Macon Jr., and Guitar all vie for Milkman’s commitment pulling in him to achieve their goals for him. To Milkman, his life seems to lack an identity in which to base his life’s direction and purpose, “…trying to make up his mind whether to go forward or to turn back. The decision he made would be extremely important, but the way in which he made the decision would be careless, haphazard, and uninformed.” (Morrison, 69-70). Unwilling to commit himself to any one goal, Milkman rejects these options, choosing instead to continue his aimless drifting, cutting himself off from the people who care for him and the African-American community.
In Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, an African American man named Macon Dead III, also known as Milkman, struggles to find the truth behind his name and background. Milkman and his broken family live on the Southside of Michigan. His mother, Ruth Foster, suffers from the lack of intimacy with her husband and uses her son as a coping mechanism. His father, Macon Dead Jr., is a materialistic man who does not want to endure the same fate as his father, Macon Dead Sr.(who had been murdered for his land, Lincoln’s Heaven.) Neither of the parents give his two sisters, Magdalena and First Corinthians, attention, leading them to envy Milkman for being the center of their world.
Your identity are the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make you who you are. Your identity helps you find your destiny in life. Without the knowledge of your identity your life will be incomplete. One of the main ways a person can find their identity is by finding out who their ancestors were and what was their purpose in life. Toni Morrison’s Milkman in “Song of Solomon” is a good example of how people can find their identity through their ancestry.
It is not murder because it needs to happen. Taking the life of any Caucasian individual after the death of any African American is the responsibility of Guitar and “the seven days” society. There is no remorse in the eyes of Guitar nor the rest of the society as they fulfill their “service.” They are not like the “grown white men [who] cry about their dogs’” (52). They hang, burn, rape and murder Caucasian men, women and children and “comb their hair at the same time” (52) as a reward for their
Recurrent racism, its social impacts, is a central theme of immigrant writing that creates many landscapes in contemporary literature. The immigrant writer takes an opportunity to attack and tackle racism and its consequence from different angles – religious, cultural and historical. The writer does not randomly preoccupy with and write about her/his intricate experience in the new land, but explicitly unfold his/her race/gender experience with its ups and downs. This type of writing has created a new understanding of theories such as racism/gender/ethnic/counter-narrative and post colonial studies among many others. This alternative genre is maneuvered by political, psychological, social and cultural processes of power that is influential to its construction.