Song of Solomon

What Weighs You Down

Chapters 5-8: Just Grow Up

Within the eternal pages of Song of Solomon (1977), Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison establishes the protagonist of the book Macon III Dead (also known as Milkman) as an emotionally stagnated "boy" who wallows in his own shallow world created through "what other people [have] told him" (Morrison 120). Morrison illustrates Milkman's emotional standpoint through the emotional chasm that develops between himself and Guitar as they, "don't see eye to eye on a lot of things" (153), the immaturity with which he deals with his relationships (Die, Hagar. Die. Die. Die." (129) ), and the safety net his father provides since he never "sweated for the job" (163). The story has mostly involved the apathetic way Milkman glides through life; however, in order to fly towards his own spiritual freedom Milkman must learn to thaw his frozen emotional state. Through Milkman's dispassionate tone and stumbling flight, Morrison guides her audience through Milkman's personal bildungsroman which hopefully accumulates towards Milkman making that final leap towards his spiritual release.

Chapter 9 - You go girl!

Within the nationally acclaimed book, Song of Solomon (1977), Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison ignites the flame for the three "Dead" children to begin their transformation towards becoming their own spiritual awakening. Morrison initiates many instances for this catharsis from Milkman's magical physical re-birth where his "left [leg] looked just as long as the other" (209), to Corinthian's emotional re-birth where she transforms from a doll to a lady in the arms of a real man, to Lena's spiritual re-birth where she asserts her command of Milkman "having pissed [his] last in this house" (216). The story has mostly involved the immature and subservient manner the three Dead "children" live their lives; however, in order to break the bonds of this passive life, Milkman, Corinthians, and Lena must spread their wings and break their barriers towards their own blue sky. Morrison displays this metamorphosis from a dispassionate tone to an assertive tone in order to highlight their initial steps towards their final flight towards their own personal spiritual release.
Disney's Frozen "Let It Go" Sequence Performed by Idina Menzel

Chapter 11 - When did this happen?

Within chapter 11 of the nationally acclaimed book, Song of Solomon (1977), Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison manifests the protagonist, Milkman Dead, into the image of a soaring peacock; a peacock that gets rid of "all that jewelry [that] weighs it down" (179). Morrison indicates many instances of the "things" Milkman loses on the way, but emphasizes the things he gains such as a stable foundation indicated from his legs that "were stalks, tree trunks, a part of his body that extended down down down into the rock and soil" (281), a deep understanding of the afflictions affecting the people around him when "he thought he understood Guitar now" (278), and a mutually fulfilling relationship, a relationship outside of the bedroom which consists of activities they do together where "he washes the dishes [and] she washed his clothes and hung them out to dry" (285). The story has mostly involved Milkman living life with materialistic lens coloring his life; however, Milkman dies and resurrects into a man who gains "an ability to separate out, of all the things there were to sense, the one that life itself might depend on" (277). Morrison displays this re-birth through a mediating tone in which Milkman learns to "[whisper] to the trees, [whisper] to the ground, [touch] them, as a blind man caresses a page of Braille, pulling meaning through his fingers" (278).


She is gamesome and good,
But of mutable mood,--
No dreary repeater now and again,
She will be all things to all men.
She who is old, but nowise feeble,
Pours her power into the people,
Merry and manifold without bar,
Makes and moulds them what they are,
And what they call their city way
Is not their way, but hers,
And what they say they made to-day,
They learned of the oaks and firs.
She spawneth men as mallows fresh,
Hero and maiden, flesh of her flesh;
She drugs her water and her wheat
With the flavors she finds meet,
And gives them what to drink and eat;
And having thus their bread and growth,
They do her bidding, nothing loath.
What's most theirs is not their own,
But borrowed in atoms from iron and stone,
And in their vaunted works of Art
The master-stroke is still her part.

Chapter 15 - I believe I can fly!

Within chapter 15 of the nationally acclaimed book, Song of Solomon (1977), Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison ushers her audience towards the end of Milkman's bildungsroman, the final precipice of Milkman's spiritual transformation after his last "baptism". Morrison highlights Milkman's final baptism through his maturity initiated with his new perspective towards life, depicted in his fervor when talking about the simplest of pleasure when he "[needs] the sea! The whole goddam sea!" (326), his sudden respect and love for his family since "he could hardly wait to get home" (329), and his own personal flight at the end of the novel where he discovers that "if you [surrender] to the air, you could ride it" (337). Throughout the beginning phase of Milkman's life Morrison establishes her protagonist as a stiff and selfish man who feels a sense of isolation within his own life; however, Morrison submerges him within his own personal baptism which creates a different Milkman, a man who yearns for a place to call his own and learns to understand the emotions of those around him, constructing a new face that his own friend cannot realize. Morrison displays this transformation within Milkman with a more passionate tone, one that does not contain words of apathy but songs of love: "Sugargirl don't leave me here/ Cotton balls to choke me/ Sugargirl don't leave me here/ Buckra's arms to yoke me" (336).