Song Of Solomon Commentary Essay

1134 words - 5 pages

Shekar 1Suraj ShekarMrs. BosticIB1 Literature 4B6 November 2013Symbols of Material Wealth in Song of Solomon The novel Song of Solomon expresses the ideas of racism, exploration, and class distinction as author Toni Morrison weaves together the complex story of Milkman Dead. He is brought up by what is portrayed as a family with a scarred past, and travels along the pathways of its consequences. Through his journey, Morrison tends to assign certain reoccurring ideas in the form of symbols in her story as she developed her unique writing style with the progression of the components of the story. The novel, Song of Solomon, portrays the idea of how material wealth barriers one from their family and brings about a loss of identity, as Morrison expertly incorporates specific symbols along the story to bring this theme to life.Toni Morrison's stylistic technique of incorporating symbols into the story to progress her theme is well exemplified with the incorporation of her use of houses as a material wealth. There are two major types of houses assigned with certain characters, large and lavish, or small and poor. Morrison assigns the large and lavish houses to Ruth Foster and Macon Dead. Ruth lives in such a large home and describes it as a major status symbol, as the Doctor had made a great deal of money and purchased the house. Though this house contains a higher status and a luxurious lifestyle, it contains a lack of self-understanding and emptiness, which makes the inhabitants sorrowful as Ruth explains, "I lived into a great big house that pressed me into a small package" (124). Ruth's living in such a house made her feel very small and insignificant, as she could not understand whom she really was. This lack of identity caused Ruth to be a victim of material wealth. Ruth, additionally, also lived with Macon who, just like the doctor, contains a great deal of wealth and owns various houses and apartments. This causes Macon to have been disconnected from his family roots as Morrison describes Macon's desire for riches to be nothing but a distraction from his roots. In order to accentuate the role of houses as a symbol into the negativity of material wealth, Morrison brilliantly creates the house of Pilate to contrast Ruth and Macon, and to show the benefits of a humble life. Morrison describes Pilate's house as much like that of a shack and shapes Pilate's character around this. Pilate is very poor and has no care for social class and materialistic items. In turn, she is seen s a mother figure with love in the story and has an understanding of her own identity. She lives for herself and does not care what others think of her, as symbolized by her home. This better shines light upon how well Morrison uses houses as a symbol towards the negativity brought upon by material wealth.With the progression of the story, and the changing personalities and roles of major characters, Morrison uses the character of Haggar and her desire for Milkman as another...

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