Song of Solomon

Tori Morrison

Intended purpose of Velvet Roses

In the novel Song of Solomon (1977), written by the first African American Nobel Prize winner Tori Morrison- well known for her fiction literature- illustrates character growth and escape from oppression through the lives of Corinthians and Lena by implementation of red velvet roses. Using Bildungsroman, Morrison highlights the stagnant nature of Corinthians and Lena's life by introducing the red velvet rose petals as "bits if red flashing around on the ground" in Chapter One and ending Part 1 with Lena breaking away from "make[ing] flowers anymore" (216) even though she "was the one who started making artificial roses" (213). Morrison introduces the velvet roses with the "rose-petal scramble" (5) in the initial chapter within novel and concludes Part 1 with the same "red velvet scraps" (197) in order to show a change in character(s) perspective on the roses, providing a standard for the readers, as well as characters in the novel, to measure the sisters growth. Morrison's tone, depicted through the lines of Corinthians and Lena towards Milkman is accusing in order to place blame on him for "doing it (peeing) to us all your life" (214) and taking the "right to decide our [their] lives" (215).

Chapter 11 Precis

In the novel Song of Solomon (1977), Tori Morrison, Noble Prize winner, avows Milkman's change in identity through the loss of material and physical elements of Milkman's previous life from earlier chapters to those seen appearing in Chapter 11. Morrison illuminates this change through the loss of Milkman's material possessions stranding Milkman with "nothing to help him- not his money... or his shoes" 277 (in previous chapters the readers sees the correlation between shoes and society through Pilate), in addition Milkman looses his limp comparing "his legs were [to] stalks, tree trunks...comfortable there-on the earth" (281) compared to how Milkman "hobbled over the gravel" (256) in Chapter 10 and the change from Milkman's three piece beige suit to "mud-caked brogans" and "World War 2 army fatigues" (271). Morrison depicts the loss of Milkman's conformed nature in order to allow Milkman to be "his own director... [with] the sense of power" (260) in his combat gear and sturdy legs. Morrison's tone, depicted through Milkman, radiates lightheartedness and gratefulness in order to portray Milkman's new identity, Morrison almost creates a new character in this particular chapter displaying how Milkman was "laughing too, hard...exhilarated by simply walking the earth" (281) showing the reading a different side of Milkman Dead.