Song Of Solomon Character Analysis

1415 Words6 Pages
Song of Solomon Topic #5 LAP
Abid Ahmad

Abid Ahmad 1
The names given to the characters in a book are in many cases the poetic insight to their role and their traits. In this manner, a character’s name can sometimes tell the reader more about them than any specific sentence in the book. This is very much the case with Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. The characters in the book have names that directly correlate with their role and individual traits. This is the case with the characters Pilate Dead and Guitar Baines. These names have polarized symbolism that highlight negative connotations on the surface, but shine through victimization when dissected thoroughly. There are also dynamic characters in this book
…show more content…
The Pilate that “killed” Christ actually simply washed his hands of the situation due to immense pressure from the Roman empire. This is greatly symbolic of Pilate’s misunderstood nature in respect to the novel. Early on, Milkman knew Pilate as “the queer aunt whom he hated because he felt personally responsible for her ugliness, her poverty, her dirt, and her wine”(Morrison 37). Rather than embracing the name she was given, Pilate embodies a different meaning of her name. If Milkman was able to fly, then it was only under the supervision of “Pilot” that Milkman was able to take off. Pilate is the guiding force for Milkman’s physical journey in re-discovering himself. “She took the bones alright. But that’s not all she took. She took the Gold. To Virginia. Milkman followed in her tracks.”(Morrison 237) Pilate was the driving force in sending Milkman down to Virginia. This sentence in the book blends the idea of Milkman physically tracking the gold he was pursuing, as well as tracing his “bones” back to his original ancestors. With Pilate’s guidance, the treasure of Milkman’s ancestry was far greater than any gold he could have found.
If Pilate was the contributing factor in guiding Milkman to flight, Guitar Baines is the leading antagonist in manipulating Milkman and hindering his growth. Hence the name, Guitar exploits Milkman through his longstanding friendship with him, proving to be the main factor stemming
Get Access