Morrison’s Song of Solomon
- Explain the meaning of these symbols that appear in Morrison’s Song of Solomon
- The watermark on Ruth Dead’s dining room table
The watermark on Ruth Dead’s dining room table reminds her of her father’s death.
- The Dead’s Sunday drive and Macon’s Packard
Packard is used every Sunday and the Dead’s family goes out for a drive. It represent the idea that how Milkman inherited his personality from his father. Due to his immense wealth, Milkman found many enemies for himself and it also shows that Milkman is aware of all everything that happens behind his back.
- Macon’s keys
Macon loves keys because those keys are for all of the houses and apartment buildings he owns. It represents his love for materialism and his emphasis on wealth as a symbol of social status.
- Guitar being unable to eat sweets
It makes readers understand that how disgusting Guitar would feel about white people as it would remind him of dead people which would led him to vomit.
- The white ghost bull that killed Freddie the janitor’s mother
The while ghost bull killing Freddie the janitor’s mother represents the idea that how much Black people had to suffer as they were oppressed by the White rulers. It leads to understanding with racial discrimination that people in Florida encountered at that time.
- The white peacock
The white peacock is a symbol of wealth and it shows that wealth can make people go blind in a sense that it takes away their ability of rational thinking.
d. The dying bush in front of the Dead’s house
It represents the emptiness in Dead’s house. It shows that how Dead’s house lack of love and affection and other family blisses.
- Describe the circumstances that led to Milkman hitting his father, Macon. What emotional contradiction does he experience afterwards?
Milkman and his father, Macon, could not get along due to their indifferent natures. Milkman hits his father because he feels that his father is always talking about how he raised him and how he should not interact with Pilate or Ruth because it is a disgrace. He has this thing about his father that he had hit his mother in the past which leads to him hitting his father one day. The emotional contradiction represented here is that Milkman would always think negative about his father but in the end of the story, he started to feel nice about his father and he started to show care and affection towards his father and led to positive memories.
- Describe the situation that Macon shares with Milkman that occurs with Ruth and her father (the doctor) immediately after his death. Later, when Ruth explains the situation to Milkman, she tells her own version of the incident. She says, “I am not a strange woman. I am a small one” (Morrison 124). What does she mean by this? Why did she say she started visiting her father’s grave?
This is a situation related to Ruth and her father as Ruth started to feel depressed. She started to remain upset because she would think that her lifestyle would change now as her father is no more who was the main earner for her family. She firmly believed that her father was not a gentleman but she also knew that he was the only person who would care for her. When Ruth interacts with Milkman and shares the version of her own, she tells him that she is not strange woman shows us that she is explaining him that if she is a part of this society and she is just like every other woman. The use of the word ‘small’ would make readers think about the fact that she wants men to be around her and acknowledge her. However, all such actions led her to a depress state which makes her to visit her father’s grave. She would visit her father because it would give her a hope to live again. Knowing that her father was not a good person but he made her live a good life motivates her to do something for her to maintain the same standard of living for herself. Describe the similarities and differences between Ruth and Pilate.
Ruth and Pilate are two different characters but they both are similar to each other in many ways. For example, they both feel care and affection towards Milkman. They both are well-wisher of Milkman and they want to see him happy and wish that all his troubles end and he do not have to endure pain throughout his life. On the other hand, they are different from each other on the basis of their background. Pilate led a poor life and comes from an isolated society. Whereas Ruth belongs to a rich family and lived a wealthy life. Pilate has grown up to be an independent woman because she learned to earn money for herself. On the other hand, Ruth married to a rich man and she is living a lavish life onwards but she depends on her husband for money.
- Guitar belongs to a group called the Seven Days. According to him, what does the organization do and what were the reasons they engaged in such activity? Who else belongs to the Seven Days? What happens with those men as a result of their membership?
According to hi, this organization is made by seven black men who decided to kill white men on a random day. They decided that they would kill any white man they see because their blood was boiling to take revenge for all the misbehaviors happened with black people in the past. The members who belong to The Seven Days group include Guitar, Hospital Tommy, Railroad Tommy, Henry Porter, Empire State, Nero, and another member who is not mentioned in the story. Those people who get membership get the right to take revenge of black misogynous in the past and they are allowed to kill any white men they say.
- Explain this quote describing Milkman’s feelings. “Deep down in that pocket where his heart hid, he felt used. Somehow, everybody was using him for something or something. Working out some scheme of their own on him, making him the subject of their dreams of wealth, or love or martyrdom. Everything they did seemed to be about him, yet nothing he wanted was part of it” (Morrison 165). How does this quote speak to his search for identity?
This quote shows that how Milkman encountered the injustices of the society he was living in. He learned that everyone needs independence in order to achieve their goals and live their dreams. Meanwhile, in search of his identity, he realized that he was used by other people so that they could reach their goals and acquire wealth for themselves. He learned that he did not get anything in return and neither could he control the situation as everyone was out of his reach now.
- Explain this metaphor about Milkman’s feeling about his life. “He’s always believed his childhood was sterile, but his knowledge Macon and Ruth had given him wrapped his memory of it in septic sheets, heavy with the odor of illness, misery, and unforgiving hearts” (Morrison 180)
This statement shows his Milkman’s feelings of isolation towards his wife. It shows us that he could not come out of the trap he undergone in his childhood and he is stilling trapped in the emotional state which he felt in his childhood. It shows that he lacks awareness and he does not have the ability to analyze the situation.
- What does Porter means when he said to Corinthians, “I don’t want a doll baby. I want a grown woman” (Morrison 196).When Corinthians, thinks about the women she knows, she cannot think of any examples of grown up women. “Every woman she knew was a doll baby” (Morrison 196). What does she means by that?
By saying this, Porter meant that women do not have the ability of taking their own decisions. Corinthians believes same because she interacted with a women who was not able to raise her voice for her own rights. Corinthians meant that women are the objects which work as per they are asked by other and they follow what other people tell them to do, just like dolls.
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