Song Of Solomon

Rhetorical Precis Writing

Ch. 5 Ruth living in the present, but her mind remains in the past.

In chapter 5 of the vastly praised novel Song of Solomon (1997). Noble Prize author Toni Morrison implies that Ruth, the lonely mother finds comfort in living in the past with her memories, her son “joined in despising her”(Morrison 120) which made her believe that she is worthless to her family in the present. Ruth’s character is a juxtaposition to her family, she can connect more with her son Milkman with his always facing backwards even when he is moving forward, but in all reality she is alone and finds satisfaction with visiting her father’s grave religiously, which Milkman follows her one night and spies on her from behind a tree. Living in the past is vital to Ruth, in order to get over the lack of love from her husband, her kids ignoring her and milkman no longer needing to be breastfeed, she feels “small”(124), this visitation allows her to talk to “the only person who ever really cared whether I lived or died”(124). Morrison’s hopeless tone verified as Ruth explains her actions to her son help the reader to understand that Ruth is starving for attention and only being able to live in her memories of when her life was better.