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Song Of Solomon

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by

Isaac Windes

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Song Of Solomon

This story surrounds ancient African myths of slaves flying free. It is basically a story of "milkman" who is mentally and spiritually disconnected from himself, his society, and his family. The story spans thirty years and skims over his adventures as he finds himself, while trying to find A treasure. By the end he finds himself, and the "treasure" of his inheritance was symbolic the whole time. 1- What was the Objectionable content? This book was filled with a number of vulgar and explicit scenes including “controversial”, R rated themes, and arguable views. There is also intense episodes of racism, and derogative language towards the white race. Parents complained that the content was “Filthy and inappropriate”. (Source: www.ala.org 2- Who contested the novel? It was challenged, but retained in Columbus ohio schools in 1933, in the Georgia’s richmond county schools in 1994, St.Augustine Florida schools in 1995, and removed from the St.Mary’s county Md.schools’ approved text list in 1998. The reason for these opposition, were complaints from parents calling the book “filthy”, “trash”, “repulsive”, and “inappropriate”. The overall novel was rejected by society at first, although professors and literary enthusiasts accepted it.(Source www.ala.org) 3-For which age group was the novel considered inappropriate?This was considered absolutely inappropriate for all children, and was contested in Middles schools/ High schools. At the adult and college reading level it was considered acceptable, but still frowned upon by society. Song Of Solomon BY:Toni Morrison

(ISAAC WINDES) Exposition 4-In which region of the country/world banned?

It was banned in Columbus Ohio, Georgia’s Richmond County, St.Augustine Florida, and St.Mary’s middle school reading list. This book was not widely known at first but was only banned in several places. 5-During which era was the Novel banned?
1977 was when it was published. - A year full of achievements for America. The US House, adopted a code of ethics, the “Oracle corporation” was created, Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, and Voyager one was launched. Only two of these events directly affect the novel. The whole story focuses around the importance of racial profiling, and racial prejudice. Martin Luther King Jr. was a pioneer in black freedom, a “flip flop” of this ideal is displayed in the story. Also the US house adopting the code of ethics indirectly impacts the story by giving the characters more, and different freedoms. 1994,1993,and 1998 were also significant years of banning for this novel. Although it does not affect the story, in 1993 the World trade Important Findings-National Book critics circle award for fiction. This book contained references, to the biblical book “The song of songs” or the “song of solomon”. Lots of “deep” metaphorical and symbolic references. Direct allegories to the bible. Street language, language was used in the text. Toni, the author, was influenced majorly by her mother and her mothers singing. Slave narratives were also major influences to the book. “Flying to Africa”, ghosts and and other superstitious african american ideas helped with the development of the story. Escape of the cultural prison is the main underlying motif in the story. (Toni Morrison, Youtube) Literary merit-A well developed and multi viewed piece gives the text a very high literary merit. “Song of Solomon (1977) juxtaposes the pressures experienced by black families that feel forced to assimilate into mainstream culture with their unwillingness to abandon a distinctive African American heritage. More so than in her earlier novels, Morrison incorporates mythical and supernatural elements into the novel's narrative as a way for characters to transcend their everyday lives.” (enotes.com). This quote really encompasses the essence of not only Song of solomon, but all of Morison’s major literary texts and advances. In other words, it is a classic “Too much tail. All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Can’t nobody fly with all that [stuff]. Wanna fly, you got to give up the [stuff] that weighs you down.” | “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” The most prime example of allegory in the text is the allegorical connection to flight. The epigraph of the story tells of a story, a story where fathers abandon their children and ends with the fight of the milkmen.The allegory is a connection to the old stories of african slaves who would fly to Africa to free themselves. This allegory appears throughout the rest of the novel. Although the flight is victorious it also comes with loss, and heartache. This allegory also shows how this whole text is not grounded in reality, but wanders into magical worlds, and terms as well. On a page before the book even begins, a small quote is scrawled in small font and sinks this idea into the readers mind before the story even begins: “The fathers may soar, And the children may know their names.” This quote really sticks in the mind while reading the story. Whether it be the children know their fathers names, or the children knowing their own names. This speculation really is a major deciding factor in the whole meaning of the book in general. There are hundreds of arguable symbols within this text. Arguable, meaning that it was not necessarily symbols, but also could be. One of the most interesting symbols, is the peacock. A very interesting choice of symbol due to it’s slightly rare and exotic aura. It is a completely whit peacock with a tail “full of jewelry”. On a deeper level, when Macon first discovers discovers the gold after killing a man, life, wealth, and security “fan before him like a peacocks tail”. So the moral compass of these two examples associate the peacock with wealth, and it’s effects on people. Peacocks, in general, are proud, vain, and cocky creatures. Even having “cock (cocky)” in their name. In the parking lot, the peacock gives a peculiar foreshadowing of at an attempt at burglary. A quotation that resembles this symbol, from the parking lot, is when “The peacock jumped on to the hood of the Buick and once more spread it’s tail, sending the flashy Buick into oblivion." “No activity seemed worth the doing, no conversation worth having. Fluttery preparations at home seemed fake and dingy. As though their tree would be anything but the huge shadowy thing in a corner burdened with decorations his mother had had since she was a little girl” This quote just depresses the story. Christmas, in general is a merry time. The Christmas tree a trademark of this, highlighting the joy and is cherished by most at Christmas time. It is portrayed here as a dark, dim, carnation “burdened” by decorations. Fake and dingy preparations, also takes the mood down a couple notches. THis foreshadows quote a gloomy holiday season. So with this quote, the mood has gone, from tranquil, to happy, to tense, to humorous, to enraged and now to depressed. This reflects not only the kind of people that these characters are but also the environment that they are in. “In the nighttime Mercy.
In the darkness Mercy.
In the morning Mercy.
At my Bedside Mercy.
On my knees now.
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Mercy.” Although this quote is very simple and doesn’t seem like it would mean very much, in the context it is such a moving excerpt.It is a song, being sung by Reba. A song written when her ancestors were enslaved.. The repetition of the word “Mercy” in itself lets the reader feel the anticipation hurt pain and longing. The rising pain of the poem really raises the gravity and effect the words have. This event, in the story, everyone gathered around singing. You can feel the melancholy love and sweetness as the songs tell a history of the African American entrails that root far back into history. Triumph, loss, Victory, and perseverance are bleeding through the pages in these words.. You can almost hear the warm and emotional voices of these wonderful black women radiating from the book.
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