Song of Solomon Precis

By: Dierra Lamar

Chapter 5-8

In the fictional book Song of Solomon (1977), the illustrious American author Toni Morrison implies that life contains little meaning without action and self discovery. She does this by highlighting existential thoughts that her characters develop. First, Macon uses the pun that he’s already dead, "My name is Macon, remember? I'm already dead" (118). This casually expresses his disdain for his own life because of his Hamlet like inaction. Later on he laments about death "Gradually his fear and eagerness for death returned. Above all he wanted to escape what he knew... (120)." Morrison goes further by having Milkman express his frustrations with living a dry daily life. He says, “[I’m] tired… of running up and down these streets getting nowhere (118). Third, Milkman looks forward to his impending murder viewing it as a means of escape. Morrison writes in contemplative tone in order to enhance the emotional connection between the reader and the character so that the astute audience will juxtapose their lives to Milkman and consider the meaning of their actions and existence through analysis of Milkman's behavior.

Chapter 9

In the chapter nine of acclaimed novel Song of Solomon written by Nobel Prize winning Author Toni Morrison, Morrison argues suggests that every person is capable of change by centering and developing supporting characters. In chapter nine the previously stagnant Corinthians, sister of Milkman Dead, challenges her norm of comfortable middle class life and acquires a job to sustain herself with, "Corinthians woke up one day to find herself a forty-two-year-old maker of rose petals she, suffered a severe depression which lasted until she made up her mind to get out of the house"(189). This change in a flat character demonstrates personal evolvement remains possible for all by way of determination. Lena, another previously quiet sister, undermines her brother’s (and overall male power and patriarchy) by ordering Milkman to reflect on the destruction that he has caused, “ Now he has knocked the ice out of Corinthians’ hand again and you are to blame” (216). Morrison gives the women in this chapter an assertive voice in order to communicate to the audience that change brews within the characters and that the “Dead” and inactive spirit of the family is coming quickly to a close.

Chapter 11

In chapter 11 of Song of Solomon, famous American novelist, Toni Morrison asserts that solitude provides an avenue for self discovery. Morrison supports this assertion by setting up situations of solitude for Milkman. Milkman has to go outside and sit on the steps of Mr. Solomon's store in order to digest his feelings about Guitar being on the hunt for him "I think I'll sit outside awhile" (262). Later on, By the time Milkman gets lost and separated by the party in the woods, he looses all of his material items, but becomes enlightened about himself in two was. He realizes that he does't need to rely on material things"all he started out with was gone: his suitcase with the Scotch, the shirts, and the space for all the gold; his- snap brim hat, his tie... His watch and two hundred dollars would be of no help out where all a man had was what he was what he was born with, or had learned to use"(277). He also learns the extent of his own selfishness "... All he was really saying was: I am not responsible for your pain; share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness" (277). Morrison uses an introspective tone to display for the audience the immense changes in Milkman's thinking of himself and others.