Precis Writing

Song of Solomon

Hagar's Hesitation

In the novel Song of Solomon (1977), Toni Morrison, known for her rich dialogue and detailed characters, suggests that Hagar still loves Milkman after "she could not get her arms down" (Morrison 130). Morrison makes this idea clear by drawing out clear descriptions of the hostile mindset that Hagar carries towards Milkman throughout many parts of the book, but Morrison also adds the fact about Hagar's dependence ("nothing to dim her passion" (Morrison 127)) on Milkman before revealing Hagar's hesitance in killing Milkman. Initially, Morrison uses examples of the different weapons (like the "Carlson skinning knife...[and the] pistol" (Morrison 119)) that Hagar carries around to chase Milkman in order to emphasize how Hagar's miss and hesitation in actually killing exists with much significance because it shows how Hagar still loves and feels Milkman's presence as necessary. Morrison's audience consists of the readers of the book, and she adds this display of Hagar's hesitation to add to the plot of the story as she adds her voice to the voice of the characters to contribute to the dark tone of the novel.

The Dead Family

In the historical fiction novel called Song of Solomon (1977), Toni Morrison, a Nobel prize winner in Literature, suggests that Corinthians Dead carries the same personality as the men of her family. Up until the end of Part 1 of the novel, Morrison does not mention Milkman's sisters other than the fact that remain lifeless as they believed that they remained "unfit for any work other than the making of red velvet roses" (Morison 187); however, by drawing out Corinthians's relationship with Henry Porter and revealing the thoughts that traveled across Corinthian's mind, Morrison creates an image of Corinthians that stays extremely similar to the men of her family, who view themselves as superior, as she "was glad she had never shown or mentioned either the card or [Henry Porter] to anyone" (193), which shows her embarrassment towards those "lower" than herself, and as she continues through a thought process that accentuates her ego ("She was First Corinthians Dead, daughter of a wealthy property owner and elegant Ruth Foster...and had Frenchmen salivating all over Paris" (197)). Using these ways to highlight Corinthians's similarity to the Dead men's ego, Morrison exaggerates Corinthians' way of thinking in order to refer back to Pilates line ("Ain't but three Deads alive" (38)) because the display of Corinthians' ego completes the idea that Macon II's family exists technically as a dead family because they remain consumed by greed and thoughts of superiority, which sucks the life and happiness out of the family. As Morrison takes on the voice of Corinthians, she makes sure to carry a tone of conceit and fake elegance with the character that helps all readers realize the details of the character First Corinthians Dead.


Through the novel Song of Solomon (1977), Toni Morrison, an award winning writer, suggests that Milkman changed completely as he goes through a rebirth and brings real "life" to his name Macon III "Milkman" Dead. Morrison brings light to this change as she describes the exchange between life and death that Milkman goes through ("saw a burst of many-colored lights dancing before his eyes" (Morrison 279)), the new found connection that Milkman feels to nature ("found himself exhilarated by simply walking the earth...he belonged to it" (281)), which acts a huge contrast between his initial response to nature ("saw it as merely green...then the city man's boredom with nature's repetition overtook him" (226)), Milkman's ability to feel at ease with others ("it was good-humored humor" (281)), and the return of the symbolic peacock, which "soared away" (283) when it actually exists in reality as a flightless bird, which was also described earlier in the novel as a not being able to fly because it remained weighed down by itself. From these various examples of the changes that one views in Milkman, Morrison exaggerates the rebirth of Milkman in order to make sure that no one misses the change that is "quite unlike the laughter the trip begun with" (281). Alongside a change in tone from dark, heavy language to bright, light language for her audience consisting of those reading her novel, Morrison accurately brings out the many changes that occur with Milkman in Chapter 11.

The Final Flight

In the last chapter of the novel Song of Solomon (1977), the award winning author Toni Morrison asserts that Milkman has finally grown into a real man. Morrison displays this when she shows Milkman's ability to acknowledge his mistake of not valuing "his mother and Pilate [who] had fought for his life [,yet] he had never so much as made either of them a cup of tea" (Morrison 331), which displays to the reader that Milkman obviously sees the value of the women (and people in general) around him that he once looked down upon, Milkman's ability to take responsibility with Hagar's death as "he went home that evening, he walked into the house on Not Doctor Street with almost none of the things he'd taken with him[, b]ut he returned with a box of Hagar's hair" (334), which shows how he left his materialistic possessions, but he decides to carry the burden and responsibility of Hagar's death, and Milkman's courage as he bravely leaped at Guitar after he had "surrendered to the air" (337), whereas previously, he tried to run from Guitar full of fear of "a hit from Guitar" (294). With the novel, Morrison presents many examples of Milkman as a grown man in order to signal the final step in Milkman's bildungsroman journey, which also encourages readers, especially those who are preparing to enter into a new chapter of their lives, to follow along in Milkman's footsteps in a process of growth. Morrison's readers serve as her audience, and as she ends her novel, she carries a hopeful tone as she wants us to be able to fly and ride the wind like Milkman and Pilate are able to do.