Rhetorical Précis Writing

by Sadaf Gillani

The Missing Piece in the Puzzle of Ruth

Toni Morrison, an impeccable writer of fiction, conveys many different themes to ponder about in her novel, Song of Solomon (1977); she presents Ruth as a woman incapable of finding satisfaction in her sexual life with her husband and looking to make up for it from anyone around, including her own son "her son had never been a person to her" (131, Morrison) and dead father, "I didn't care if that somebody was under the ground" (Morrison, 125). Morrison develops this idea by first displaying the fading of sexual affection between Macon and Ruth, then describing her need for it to be fulfilled, and finally showing the results of her acting upon this burning desire. "His mother had been portrayed not as a mother who simply adored her son, but an obscene child playing dirty games with whatever male was near -- be it her father or son" (79, Morrison). Morrison presents this in order to portray true emptiness and the constant need to fill it up when the ones designated do not do so. Morrison's audience is women because she opens their eyes to show a weakness in women. Her tone is mocking the weakness of women since they cannot stand for themselves or by themselves without external fulfillment.

Growing into your Parents

Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize, in her fictional novel, Song of Solomon (1977), suggests that children tend to become like their parents, whether consciously or unconsciously. She develops this idea by first showing the sexual tension in Corinthians's life and that she would go to extreme measures of dependency and hidden shameful actions to achieve satisfaction and self esteem just like her mother Ruth because she would be with Porter even though she "knew she was ashamed of him" (Morrison, 194), then showing, through Lena's perspective, how Milkman finds a need to assert his dominance just because he is a man, just like his father had done upon the family in that "he had forbidden her [Corinthians] to leave the house, made her quit her job, evicted the man, garnisheed his wages, and it is all because of you. You [Milkman] are exactly like him" (Morrison, 215). Toni Morrison suggests this phenomenon of children becoming like their parents in order to present to the audience the influence that parents have on their children and how the parents' actions can change their children's whole lives and who they eventually become. In a serious tone, Toni Morrison establishes a personal relationship with the audience who is anyone that has influence on someone else whether it is mothers, fathers, mentors, teachers, etc.

Women in Virginia

Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize, in her fictional novel, Song of Solomon (1977), suggests that in this area, women are seen as minor to men and are therefore degraded and objectified. At the very beginning of the chapter, Morrison writes, "The women's hands were empty. No pocketbook, no change purse no wallet, no keys, no small paper bag, no comb, no handkerchief. They carried nothing," (Morrison, 259) which represents how women are not seen as people because they don't carry the same burdens and struggles that men do and they are just unimportant disposable objects; she later brings this topic up again when the men have a conversation about the women and refer to them as "pussy" (Morrison, 267) as if women are good for nothing except sexual interaction. She slips in these observances and interactions in order to display how women are perceived. Morrison uses a casual tone to show the modern audience the perception of women back then in Virginia.

Interpretation of Flight

Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize, in her fictional novel, Song of Solomon (1977), suggests that to take flight "without ever leaving the ground" (Morrison, 336), you must not let the struggles of life weigh you down and loving everyone despite who the are or what they they have done. Toni Morrison develops this idea by showing the kind, welcoming attitude of Pilate over the course of the novel; she welcomed Milkman into her home despite family conflicts, broke Milkman and Guitar out of jail even after they betrayed her, devoted all of her savings to caring and even spoiling her family, and even nearly killed people who came close to hurting her family. Morrison shows the pure, untarnished love and strength that Pilate carries within her in order to show people that overcoming all struggles and obstacles in life with a positive attitude will, in the long run, make you a happy person. Morrison establishes a personal relationship with an audience that has seen struggle in a wise and serious tone.