AP Literature Précis
"Song of Solomon" -Toni Morrison
Chapter 8- The Peacock Symbolizes a Sense of Pride (or the Ego).
The "waking dream" that Milkman and Guitar saw.
This photo depicts the difference between the ego and the soul. Macon and Milkman both fall under the "head" in this picture.
Lack of Flight
Though peacocks can fly short distances, they are ultimately grounded, and as Guitar points out- you have to get rid of the things that hold you down to be able to fly.
Chapter 9- Greedy Minds: Oppression Causes Violence
In her coming-of-age novel Song of Solomon (1977), Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Literature Nobel Prize, states that someone's constant oppression of others will kill things and make people "[want] to kill you" (213). Morrison makes this evident through the use of urinating on someone/something as a sign of possession (see Porter's drunken rage and Macon's greed), the death of the plants out of season after Milkman peed on them (see the flowers and the sapling), and Lena's rage toward young Milkman after he accidentally pees on her (she actually moves to premeditated murder). This assertion of dominance, especially over women, is acknowledged in order to make Milkman "the line [Lena] will step across" (214), and to show that Lena even tried to kill him "once or twice" (213). Morrison establishes a new view of Milkman with her readers through Lena's tone of rebellion and anger by bringing up how the oppressed women in the Dead household see him; a very disgusting prominent figure who has surely "pissed [his] last in this house" (216).
The symbol of life or new beginnings.
Peeing on Things
Seen as marking one's territory, the men in this novel all feel compelled to urinate on something they see as a possession.
Purple Violets and Wild Jonquil
The Purple Violet- in the Victorian Language of Flowers, means "my thoughts are occupied with love." Wild Jonquil means, "I hope for a return of affection." Could this mean, seeing as how Milkman peed on Lena and the flowers, that all her hopes of finding love are dead and gone too?