Essay on The Song of Solomon

2983 Words12 Pages
Book Title
Song of Solomon

Author

Toni Morrison

Summary
The first black boy ever born in Mercy Hospital in a town in Michigan comes into the world the day after an insurance agent named Robert Smith kills himself by trying to “fly” from the roof of the hospital across Lake Superior. The boy's mother, Ruth, nurses him until he is eight or nine years old, thus earning him the ridiculous nickname Milkman.
Milkman befriends an older boy named Guitar, visits his Aunt Pilate, and falls in love with Pilate’s granddaughter Hagar. Milkman also lives in fear of his father, the methodical businessman Macon Dead. When Macon discovers that Milkman has been visiting Pilate's house, he makes the boy come to work for him to diminish his free time.
…show more content…
Macon agrees, but only if Milkman will steal the green bag of gold hanging from Pilate's ceiling-gold, he says, Pilate stole from the camp of a man he murdered when they were children, right after their father died and right before their estrangement.
Milkman and Guitar pull off the robbery, but find out that the bag is full of bones--the bones of the man Macon killed.
Milkman travels to Pennsylvania, officially to look for the gold, but also to trace his family's history. He meets Circe, an ancient woman who gives him some clues about his background, and he travels to Shalimar, Virginia, where his family originated. The symbolic geography of the novel is extremely important: black history radiates from the South, and becomes more uncertain the further North one travels; Milkman begins the novel in Michigan, and must travel southward and eastward to recover his fragmented family history.
He gradually fills in the pieces, with the help of Susan Byrd and a nonsensical child's song: he is the grandson of Jake and Sing; Jake was the youngest son of a slave named Solomon and his wife Ryna. Solomon is supposed to have had the power of flight, and to have flown back to Africa. Ryna was miserable about his disappearance, and these facts are now recorded in the cliff called Solomon's Leap and the howling valley called Ryna's Gulch.
While Milkman is in Shalimar, Guitar appears and tries to murder him, thinking he has taken the gold for himself.
Guitar then returns home in

More about Essay on The Song of Solomon

Get Access