Materialistic Wealth In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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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…show more content…
His social awakening also inspires a change in attitude towards the treatment of women. Initially, Milkman objectifies Hagar and treats her as an inferior, but when he encounters Sweet, he begins to reciprocate her affections and treat her with respect. Furthermore, Milkman’s change in motivation for his flight south illustrates the development of his maturity through his pursuit of his family’s history, proving that attaining wealth is no longer his sole purpose. During his time south, Milkman was maliciously pursued by Guitar. His attempted murderer of Milkman creates the illusion of a resurrection to which Milkman develops social awareness. Milkman’s acknowledgment of racism and change in attitude towards women ultimately highlights his maturity and the development of an unmaterialistic identity through his metaphorical…show more content…
Despite Milkman’s initial pursuit of Hagar, he fails to become emotionally invested and eventually loses interest in her. Their separation unfortunately evoked the loss of Hagar’s sanity, as her love for Milkman manifests into an obsession and she becomes consumed with jealousy and desperation. As a result, Hagar strategizes a plan in which she attempted to murder Milkman for their separation. When confronting Milkman, Hagar realizes that she lacks the courage to actually inflict harm upon him, as she is still emotionally invested in their relationship. Upon realizing that Hagar lacks the audacity to actually murder him, Milkman becomes silently overwhelmed with pride to which he proceeds to “pat her cheeks and turn away from her wide, dark, pleading, hollow eyes” (Morrison 130). Through his condescending tone and actions towards Hagar, it becomes evident that Milkman lacks respect for women, as he views them as socially inferior. He objectifies Hagar and discards her immediately upon losing interest, which unfortunately forces Hagar to suffer the same fate as her biblical parallel, who was banished upon bearing a child to Abraham. Ironically, Milkman fails to realize that his neglective behavior was ultimately the motivating source for the negative change induced upon Hagar. Her inevitable downfall serves to highlight the extent of Milkman’s harm through the infliction of
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