Milkman as a lost lamb

Caroline Williams


In Toni Morrison's book Song of Solomon, she characterizes one of the main characters, Milkman, as a "lost lamb" claiming his inability to spread his wings and fly away from home is a product that his parents created: "I'm still living at home, working for you- not because I sweated for the job, but because I'm your son... I'm over thirty years old." (163) Morrison highlights this assertion by comparing both his mother and father's possesional love over him "I need you here, Macon...If you were to going to go, you should have gone five years ago... Now I've come to depend on you." (163) , learning his friends and family only use him for their own resources "he felt used..somehow everybody was using him for something or as something."(165), and describing Milkman as having interests to move away but not have the guts to unroot himself and fly "On your own? With a million-dollar wallet, you call that on your own?" (181) Morrison uses examples from multiple characters and Milkman himself in order to display a lack of maturity, discipline, and confidence due to his upbringing "He avoided commitment and strong feelings, and shied away from decisions." (180) Morrison presents the tone of fear from Milkman's actions by masking his inability to fly away "And this latest Jack and the Beanstalk bid for freedom, even though it had been handed to him by his father-assigned almost-stood some chance of success." (180)