The Theme Of Time In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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In the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, she uses a story that on its face seems specific to one time period but is really a timeless story in order to convey the argument that people’s individual stories are often much more universal than they appear. Song of Solomon explores that range of possibilities of time period by first describing a character and a story that seem very specific to the 1950s. Later in the book, it becomes clear that the story is actually universal through a shared story. At the very beginning of the book, the time period that it is set in becomes obvious. Morrison describes a little boy, Guitar, who had just moved from the south and discovered that he could “speak up to white people” (7). It is clear that the little boy had fewer rights in the south because he was not allowed to speak his mind to white people. This detail makes it clear that the story occurs sometime around the 1950s, when black people were struggling for their rights, especially in the south. Later in the book, the time period is made clear again when there is an allusion to Malcolm X. While Guitar is describing the activities of the seven days, Milkman tells him that he sounds like Malcolm X (160). Malcolm X was a civil rights activist who was active in the 1950s and 1960s. By making a…show more content…
The story turns out to be one that is universal and timeless. Through this exploration of the possible relevance of the story, Morrison makes that argument that individual stories and problems are often unknowingly shared with others. This tells people that no matter what they are going through, there is somebody out there who has faced the same problem and can relate to them. For many, this idea of unknown solidarity with others who have had the same experiences is
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