Song of Solomon

Education Can't Buy Triumph

The Color of Equality

In Song of Solomon (1997) by American novelist, editor, and professor, as well as winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize and 1993 Nobel Prize, and lastly recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 Toni Morrison, Toni uses the color blue to represent the theme that education doesn't always resolve in triumph over others, and this theme is first displayed as suicide is seen in ( "First the death of the man in blue wings, and now her own," (Morrison 198) referring to the lives of Robert Smith, one of few educated black men, and later in that of Corinthian's, a character who's "high heeled shoes" (189) make her a "lady" (197) among "women" (196). The importance of the symbolism is that blue, a naturally royal and triumphant color, proves the success of both of these characters, yet stops neither from the suicidal thoughts and action seen in this novel as with his "wings," (198) Robert Smith flew to his death, granting the flight that nobody else had been privileged to, and later, Corinthians, who was "pretty enough, [and] pleasant enough," (188) still "suffered [from both] a severe depression," (189) and "the humiliation of wearing a [maid's] uniform, even if it was blue," (190) and she "thought she would surely die" (198). The tone that Morrison uses to speak this theme dealing with death is surprisingly not morbid, but instead seems to own more of an undertone of the equality of all black members of society as it is clear that educated blacks are no more important than the uneducated ones, and that any members who have "drive," (188) and are willing to put out "hard work" (188) can be successful.