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 intended audience to see the growth of the sisters is Milkman is displayed in an accusing tone 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).