Song Of Solomon


1.Heritage Research Paper

The Great Outdoors

The leaves crunch coolly beneath my feet. Long titanium poles stab the ground, providing support and stability, relieving me of the pain that would be had I not had them. Land stretches for miles and mile, and there is no better way to connect with God than this. Hike his hills, see his creation.

Dear Lord, be with me today. Keep me safe, and remind me how small I am, but that you still have a plan for me. Remind me of your love, your beauty, and your compassion, and speak to me as I'm alone with you. I always pray before I hike. It keeps my relationship with God both fresh and strong. In the wilderness, it's never a bad idea to be a little over-prepared. Because I like being by myself, I can never expect people to be around if I need them. I've always got my hammock with me, because there's nothing quite like being on top of a mountain with no one but God. I walk out the door, hop in my car, and thumb my GPS system. Gotta meet the requirements. At least thirty miles, at least seven thousand feet of vertical elevation change. Not everyone can do that. I can though. It makes me feel good. I'm thinking about North Carolina. Just bought some property up there. Two thousand acres of nothing but land. I've hiked around the hole property. Blue Knob is my favorite peak. Sometimes I'll sit up there for hours. Sometimes I'll even forget how late it's getting... until a text from my wife creeps through. I hike. It's nothing new, but it's still enjoyable. Relaxing. Next week's spring break.

Boys! Let's go backpacking this week! Oh, the look on their faces. The twins have been looking forward to this moment for almost 3 years. I've been looking forward to it a lot longer than that.

Over the next few days, I watched the weather, and it just put butterflies in my stomach. Monday's supposed to be awful, and Sunday isn't looking fabulous either. I prayed and prayed for a solution, I couldn't let this special trip slip us by.

My wife knew I'd been worrying about this a lot, and she told me that the boys and I could just rent a cabin and do day-hikes instead of doing a big backpacking trip that risked being miserable for a couple days. EUREKA! Holy cow! What an awesome idea. I really couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it, but once I've got an idea in my mind, I can't let go of it. I sent a text to Chris and Andy, and told them to play on getting things ready to go from Friday to Monday. We'd be leaving Tuesday for a five day trip.

This spring break vacation was the best I'd ever been on in my 18 years. We, a lot of three guys, planned our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, shopped for ourselves, cooked, and cleaned, for a whole week. It wasn't just spending time with my father and brother that made it awesome. It was the whole experience. We'd broken ground – done a bunch of stuff we hadn't done together in a long time before. I guess that's why I've just so recently realized the inconceivable brilliance in writing a heritage paper about my father, such a close relative, instead of trying to backtrack through death. Yuck. The great outdoors have truly just become such an important part of my heritage. Why? Because I love being outside, but also, because this is the first time I've ever hiked days in a row with my father, the leading man before me. I relate to him though. He had not started hiking a lot until a very late point in his life, where he realized that he could go out on his own, without his father having done so before him. Grandpa is a very special man. Despite having hemophilia, he has made it into his late 70's, a great accomplishment for a man with that specific disease. Because of the thin blood that courses through his veins, and the ever-present danger that he is put in just by walking, outdoor activity was something he was never able to partake in. It never dawned on me until this past weekend how important it is to my dad to spread a love for the outdoors through our family, and down throughout the next generations. It hit me hard when he said “I don't know why we haven't done this before. Sometimes I just feel like maybe I screwed up.” After a little reassurance, we went back to discussing how awesome our day had been. We had just hiked a 13 mile trail with a warning “Do not attempt as day-hike.” We did it anyways though. Why? Cause we were on a mission to be better than everyone else.

2.Freedom (Precis)

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 plants not only the idea that "Money is Freedom" (Morrison 163), but she goes even further by stating that it is "The only real freedom there is" (Morrison 163). Morrison grows this theme throughout the novel as she reveals through different characters: Pilate and Macon Dead III that in fact there is nothing they can do to be freed in life without money -- Pilate expressed the idea of freedom with money as she was hired as a washer-woman for 10 cents a day... and she saved her dimes" (Morrison 145) -- Macon (Milkman) not only lived under his money tree as "he went back into his father's office, got some cash out of the safe, and wrote Hagar a nice letter which ended" (Morrison 99) their meetings, but also later as he needed money to "live on his own," something that "everybody" (Morrison 163) around him had accomplished. For Morrison's characters, stuck in racial oppression, working for money acted as the only viable way of earning freedom in life, be it as moving on, or moving forward. The tone that Toni carries as she reveals the theme "money is freedom" in Song of Solomon is quite depressed, as she also reveals the difficulty that attaining freedom is, for colored skinned people in the era.

3.Equality (Precis)

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.

4.Compassion (Quality Personified)

Oh, come on over here. Sit on my lap. Let me warm you like I did my son, let me get you some warm milk. Are you too cold? Let me grab a blanket. No. Too warm? I know where the icebox is. This is nothing new. The pantry's stocked. Help yourself. Where did you come from? Where are you headed? I'll give you a lift. Thirsty? There's coke in the back. It ain't cold, but it'll do. Here. Let me crack that open for you. Ahh, yep! Sweet and sticky. Need a rag? Here, let my spit on that real quick. How's the ride? I can slow down if you want. Let's get you some food. There's a nice diner around the corner. Where were you again? You're a mess. Your hair is a mess, and your clothes are so tattered. Here's a deal. We'll get you a clean cut and shave, a new suit, and I'll send you on your way. You really can't refuse. -And she was right. I couldn't. She stayed true to her word too. Nicest woman I've ever known, and I didn't even know her. Said her name was Compassion.

5.Flight (Symbol Explored)

The symbol that deal most with "obvious redemption," is that of flight. The ability to pick up and fly away grants the power to move out of one place and into another. It grants the ability to change position in life. Essentially, with flight, somebody could be headed one direction, take off, and perform a complete three hundred and sixty degree rotation, transforming their life completely. If Milkman's flight was redeeming, then was Robert Smith's flight from Mercy also as significant to his character? I'd say yes. Flight comes when characters in the book reach a certain level. Pilate needs no plane, yet she can always fly. Her flight is not physical, but she lifts off the ground, greatly influencing those whom reside around her. Solomon's flight was accomplished after he Left tens of children behind. What is the common factor here? Does flight make people into saviors, or is it itself the Messiah? I would argue the latter. Flight saved every man who ever flew. Smith escaped the life of the Seven Days. Solomon escaped a life of business that he himself had created (granted an almost second chance at life). Lastly, Milkman was saved through flight as he was able to escape the greedy ways of his past life, and change into a man who was more willing to save his best friend than he was himself. That's what he really needed.

6.Thaw (Original Poem)

The Winter came around,

And arrived,

Like the first black baby born in Mercy.

And that baby bird had its wings iced over like an airplane.

That one winter had set him back a while.

He could always fly,

He'd just never learned.

All he needed was wings,

But he'd had them all along.

Jesus Christ!

At the age of thirty-three,

He picked up and left.

He prayed and prayed for Spring.

And here's the truth:

Prayers pay.

There is a God.

And I'll tell you how I know.

Spring came,

And in one heated sweep,

It melted all the frost.

Mister Macon Dead came to life.

Reborn, the moved his boulder aside.

And like a tired morning cat,

He crawled out of his cave,


And flared his wings out wide.

And now he understood

the man he always was,

And the man he'd always be.

He was not a tool.

He was not to be used,

But he was a gift.

Just like the Spring.

And with his power,

he could bring new life.

7.Recipe For Redemption

First you take a broken life,

and pair it with a broken heart.

Find now a solid strife,

Wait. Yes. We can start.

Now find a giant bowl,

And add some hope,

For the soul.

Melt and mix,

And wash with soap.

Let it sit to warm on coals.

8.MultiVoice Poem



They can live by themselves

Or with others.

But in the end,

They will always be hunted

And I will be the one who saves

Because no matter what,

I have that power.

And it doesn't matter if I'm killed,

Because I know that I will always try my hardest.

Compassion is key

As long as I don't give up,

I can never lose.

And sometimes,

Just maybe,

It takes a life to save a life

Salvation is here.

Life is Hell,

And Death is better.



They can live by themselves

Or with others.

But in the end,

They will always be hunted

And I will be the one who kills

Because no matter what,

I have that power.

And it doesn't matter if I'm attacked,

Because I know that I will always win my battles.

Suppression is key.

As long as I have control of my situation,

I can control the outcome.

And sometimes,

Just maybe,

It takes a life to take a life.

There is no savior.

Life is Hell,

But Death is worse.

9.Literary Analysis Response



In this precis, I reveal money as a redemptive item in a sense that it is not commonly seen as. Because money can free people from the oppression they are surrounded by, it literally pulls them out of one situation, placing them in another. This makes money the "redeemer" instead of a person or people, more commonly used in literature.


In this second precis, I actually present a standpoint juxtaposed with my last. This precis actually present the lack of an ability to be redeemed, seen as suicide is the closest thing to hope that people have left. By committing suicide, characters in Song of Solomon give up on seeking out redemption, and instead doom them self to failure without opportunity.


Compassion is the quality that redeemed Milkman. When he finally underwent the passage from a man steeled with ignorance to a man who knew he could affect those around him, he was definitely put under a different spotlight. And he definitely acted kinder towards those surrounding him.


Milkman's flight truly represents his ability to "surrender to the air" around him. Because until the end of Song of Solomon, Milkman is unable to yield to anything other than himself, surrendering to the air is the point in the book where he is fully redeemed. On top of that, he is offering up his life, putting himself in the extreme last place that he can.


This poem shows Milkman's transformation from being a dead frozen man to one who left life in his wake. By comparing him to Jesus, he is seen himself as redemption to those around him, saving them from destruction, and offering instead, salvation.


The recipe for redemption is exactly that. It displays qualities seen in broken characters, and how those characters are later fixed, and given a shove in the opposite direction. This recipe will take anyone anywhere, and redeem them. Just make sure you have all the ingredients.


Milkman giving his life to save his friend Guitar serves as a chance for Guitar's redemption through changing who he is, his actions, and his motives. While in the beginning of the book Guitar is the hunter, toward the end, he actually becomes the hunted as Milkman's offer for salvation almost attacks him, allowing a complete transformation.