AP Lit Precis Writing
The white peacock symbolizes the allure of greed and wealth in American society
Lena and Corinthians are ARTIFICIAL ROSES!!!
Milkman is the BOBCAT
Written magnificently in her Nobel winning novel Song of Solomon (1977), American author Toni Morrison creatively intertwines the life of a black man (specifically Milkman’s) to the life of a hunted animal- a bobcat; as she has their death’s occur almost simultaneously- “he knew he had just drawn the last sweet air left for him in the world” (279). Morrison fabricates this connection by having Milkman realize that the same way the men are all eagerly skinning and ripping away at the bobcat is identical to the way people in his life have been treating him; Hagar, Ruth, Macon, and even his best friend, Guitar- “Everybody wants a black man’s life” (281). Morrison establishes this symbolism in order to further enhance the fact that Milkman has previously been a prey, and all of his ‘predators’ have been eagerly trying to reap the benefits of him- seen as he is attacked by his best friend Guitar, inevitably causing Milkman to feel as if his own heart ‘metaphorically’ ripped from him just as the bobcat’s heart truly was- “Milkman plunged both hands into the rib cage…the heart fell away from the chest as easily as yolk slips out of its shell” (282). In a peaceful and accepting tone, Morrison eludes to the fact that Milkman has transformed; giving up his previous life of materialism in order to find his identity and happiness “But it was a living breath this time, not a dying one” (279) which we can assume means that Milkman will finally leave his former prey self (seen through the bobcat) behind and start his real journey, not to find gold, but find himself.