World Of The Work Essay

714 words - 3 pages

Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon tells the account of an African American male's hunt for his individuality through a discovery of his ancestor’s past. Morrison tells this legend through the character of Solomon, the great-grandfather of Milkman Dead. Through learning of the tale of Solomon and his capability to soar, Milkman discovers a strong sense of satisfaction in his heritage and realizes he must treasure his community and family. While most of the narrative occurs from 1931-1963, there are intermittent flashbacks from the late nineteenth century. Two distinct settings in Song of Solomon play a key but contrasting role in identifying and understanding the personality of its inhabitants and the importance of human interaction as a whole.
While the town close to Lake Superior is never given a title, the reader imagines it is Detroit, Michigan. In the beginning of the novel, the narrator focuses on the Southside and the road the residents call “Not Doctor Street”, a primarily black area (Morrison 4). This street name gives “Southside residents a way to keep their memories alive” (Morrison 4). The different names for this road symbolize the separation of the Southside residents from the city legislators. This also establishes two different groups of people: the wealthy and the ones who are not. Although these residents have referred to this road as “Doctor Street” for years, the city legislators do not care and post numerous notices claiming that the road’s real name was “Mains Avenue” (Morrison 4).
For example, one of the houses situated on this street is the “big dark house” belonging to Dr. Foster. This house is massive, and holds twelve different rooms (Morrison 9). Although the house’s magnitude is envied by many, the residents of the house feel isolated. This house serves as “more prison than palace.” While the house stayed quiet, “it was not peaceful” (Morrison 10). Ruth and her children lodge here and have no choice but to suffer abuse leaving them “awkward with fear” from Ruth’s husband, Macon Dead II (Morrison 10). After Ruth “closes the door behind her afternoon guests” the smile dies from...

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