Song of Solomon is a novel about finding and expressing ones culture and their identity. This story begins off with a man jumping off a building because he thinks he can fly, but however he can’t and he falls to his death. Following that Ruth Foster Dead, who is the daughter of a African American doctor, Ruth gives birth to the first black child in Mercy hospital. They named this baby Milkman Dead. As Milkman grows up he is intrigued by flight and when he finds out that humans cannot fly he becomes depressed. Milkman grows up being spoiled and does not really return any affection given to him by others. Milkman has a disease called genetic malady, which is something that effects your emotions. By the time Milkman reached late adulthood he is still living with his parents at the age of 30 and wants to escape and break away. Milkman peruses a tale of some gold that is hidden and Milkman takes him and his friends to go and get it. Instead of gold they only find rocks and a skeleton in the tarp. Milkman’s friend guitar is apart of a secret society that murders innocent whites and needed the gold for that. Milkman leaves his hometown in search of the gold in Pennsylvania. When Milkman gets to Pennsylvania he finds out there is not any gold there but Milkman does learn about his family’s history. Milkman goes on a journey learning about his family and the things he finds out about his family gives him joy and a sense of purpose.
Milkman Dead: Milkman Dead is the main character and the protagonist of the novel. He is born and lives a protected, sheltered, and spoiled life. He lacks any purpose to his life and is depressed and has no reason to really care about life. He changes throughout the story and becomes and good person and gets a reason to live and continue on with his life.
Pilate Dead: Pilate Dead is Milkman’s mom who is devoted to her family and takes good care of her son and her family. She is the first African American to give birth in the mercy hospital.
Guitar Bains: Guitar Bains is Milkman’s best friend and had a rough life growing up. Guitar hates white people and is in a society that kills innocent white people. Guitar has a really bad anger and does not forgive or forget.
Setting: This novel takes place in the 20th century around 1930’s to 1960’s but has flash backs from earlier times. The fact that this story takes place in 1930’s to 1960’ has important details from real life to the story; such as the whole segregation issues. The main place that they start off in is a unnamed city in Michigan where Milkman is born and grows up in. Up till Milkman starts to pursue the gold he doesn’t leave his hometown. Through the story it traces Milkman’s step while he pursues at first the gold but then changes his mind and is in search of more information of his family and goes to important places to his family. After Milkman leaves Michigan where he grew up he goes to Pennsylvania to a farm where he thought that there might be gold there, but instead of gold he finds someone who knew he grandpa and knew stories about his family. The town which Milkman and Guitar go to in Pennsylvania is called Montour County. At the farm they meet Circe who is an old midwife who tells them stories. Encouraged by Milkman’s new discoveries he heads south to Shalimar, which is where his grandfather’s ancestral home was in Virginia. Milkman think he is going alone but Guitar secretly followed him because he thinks that Milkman know where the gold is. Milkman is uncomfortable in Shalimar because it has a small town atmosphere. Milkman learns more stories and information about his family here; he is pleased with his findings and goes back to Michigan his hometown.
Man v man: when guitar tries to kill Milkman
Man v self: Milkman he emotional problems and doesn’t have a reason to live
Man vs society: Guitar is apart of African group that kills innocent white people
Themes: Identity, race, and escape.
Identity: at the start of the story Milkman has no reason to live and he goes on a journey to find gold but instead finds his identity which gives hi a reason to live and through the story we here a lot of people talking about forging an identity.
Race: In this story there is a lot of racism and inequality and there are flashbacks back to the day of the slaves. There is also the society of African Americans who kill whites. There is Milkman’s Grandpa who married a Native American.
Escape: Escaping is a theme and it is there throughout the story; when Milkman starts his journey he is escaping his sheltered life. They find out that Milkman’s grandpa could fly and escaped slavery by flying away.
Symbols: The peacock, The gold, and flying.
The peacock walks into the used car lot where Milkman and Guitar are planning their future with the gold and it is a sign of hope and wealth and a good life.
The gold was a sign of hope and an escape. The gold would have made their lives better and giving them all their dreams. Throughout the story a lot of the motives were based on the gold.
At the start of the story a guy thinks he can fly and jumps off a building and kills himself. Throughout the story we are presented with men who fly off and escape their lives.
in the story the idea that men can fly is presented and is a dream of Milkman so I think this picture is relevant.
"Pic of the Day: The Flying Dutchman10." DoYouReadMe Daily Nothing Is Possible Pic of the Day The Flying Dutchman Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://www.dyrmdaily.com/2748/pic-of-the-day-the-flying-dutchman/>.
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