Toni Morrison

Names making you who you are?

Rhetorical Precis Writing

In the novel "Song of Solomon" (1987), Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, talks about identities and names throughout the novel and how they make you who you are. Toni asserts this by showing in multiple ways how she reiterates this idea (Milkman, Pilate, Guitar, Reba) throughout this novel and describing the scenarios in which they came about, whether they are male or female roles and names. Using examples from historical and biblical references (Guitar Banes, Pilate being biblical, Milkman because of breastfeeding), she suggests that your name sticks with you whether you want it to or not. Toni's tone relates to both males and female (Milkman getting his nickname because his mother breastfed him until he was too old and Pilate getting her name from the bible by her dad) in a aggressive tone; however, by using stories and the history given to most of the names in this novel, Toni makes this novel symbolic and intense for both genders and conveys that name are important to who you are as a person.