Précis for Song of Solomon
Chapter 5-8: Magic Realism
Chapter 9: First Corinthians Dead
In chapter 9 of the novel Song of Solomon(1977), critically acclaimed author Tony Morrison characterizes and transforms First Corinthians Dead in a way that symbolizes a flight from burden and depression. Morrison communicates this idea through the depiction of Corinthians waking up “to find herself a forty-two year old maker of rose petals” - which are artificial and symbolize the absence of love - suffering from a “severe depression” (Morrison 189), the struggle to take flight and search for work, a “shock” to find that her liberal education left her “unfit for eighty percent of the useful work of the world” (Morrison 189), and the ironic liberation in finding the job as a maid under the poet, Michael-Mary Graham, because there “she had what she never had in her [home]: responsibility” (Morrison 190). Such a characterization not only allows Morrison to deepen the work’s motif of flight, but also to show how freedom can be attained in unusual ways, even under constraint. Morrrison’s sarcastic tone when speaking of Corinthians’ awkward transition to the work world, and her delighted and peaceful tone when describing her maidship under the poet enriches the profoundness of Corinthians’ attempt at flight from oppression and a symbolic resurrection from death.