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Song of Solomon: Flight

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by

Clayt Kucera

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of Song of Solomon: Flight

The Flying Milkman Milkman is pure when the novel begins. He is so pure that he truly believes he can fly. Of course, his ultimate realization that he cannot fly turns him into a "dull" child (Morrison 9). Why is Milkman Unable to fly? He is shackled by his family. Ruth's bizarre and unnatural passion weighs him down. He is haunted by the actions of his mother. His own name is a consequence of these actions. The significance of the Dead family Milkman's family weighs him down. For others in Southside, the white community is what weighs them down. The Dead family is a symbol for the white community in part one. "She threw away every assumption she had and began at zero" (Morrison 149). Song of Solomon The Implications of Flight Flight Traditionally a symbol of liberation
Myth of the flying Africans
In SOS, it's a bitter-sweet achievement
women/children left behind
sometimes unsuccessful and becomes a leap of death A woman with the strength of a man. Why can Pilate "fly"? First Instance of Flight Epigraph
Flight throughout the novel; liberating but scars those left behind, leaving sons to seek out their identities and women to cope without men
Mr. Smith
Wore "silk wings"
Proclaimed in a letter he would fly
Seemed as though he had every intention of flying
No traces of blood on his body Earthly possessions = weight Pilate's Flight No abandonment or selfishness. Capable of flight "without ever leaving the ground" (Morrison 336). Solomon Done Fly Away

Epigraph: “The fathers may soar/And the children may know their names”

• When someone succeeds in flying, they leave behind the people on the ground: Ryna and her children were left behind (she moans after he leaves, and thus Ryna’s Gulch makes those eerie sounds.
-He did try to bring his youngest child, Macon Jr.’s father, but was unsuccessful.

-When he flew away, he left everything behind: including his distressed wife and children

• This leads those left on the ground to remember the names of those that flew, albeit it is not always in a good sense (their success was admirable, but there desertion was not as commendable).

This is an important theme in the novel: liberation comes with a cost. The ultimate, enlightened flight that frees oneself without hurting others. Contrast against the selfish and physical flight performed by the men in the novel Women and Flight Always the ones being abandoned. Women in the story are trapped by social isolation and economic dependency. The Falling Man

“No such thing. His wife come in before it was time to let go. She asked me what I was doing and I told her” (41).
“The truth. That I was trying to keep him from falling off a cliff” (41).
Man leaving woman behind during flight Pilate is the example of an independent woman, a woman who needs no man, whose strength is "counter to Macon" (Morrison 138). Milkman: redemption and flight Part II brings a new Milkman One who actually leaves his "dead" household. Although he doesn't have a good intention (his reason for leaving is greed) he is able to grow from the experience. Who does Milkman abandon? 5 Feet into the Air Pilate's father, Macon Sr. was shot and killed
When he was shot, he "flew 5 feet into the air" (52).
The fact that he came crashing back down symbolized that he couldn't leave behind anything (Pilate, his love for his wife, Sing)
This is further exemplified by the fact that Pilate claims to see him all the time and the fact that Macon Sr. moans "Sing" throughout the novel He leaves Hagar to fend for herself without think of her feelings. Milkman leaves Hagar just like the slaves that fly away and leave their wives in plantations - this is why she ultimately dies. What does Milkman abandon He ultimately abandons greed and this is why he's able to fly. The Albino Peacock "How come it can't fly no better than a chicken" (179)?
"Too much tail. All jewelry weigh it down" (179).
Irony that every character faces; they are all capable of flying, of overcoming life's challenges, but they are too caught up in greed, vanity, wealth, pride, etc. to leap and fly.
Milkman was at one point a white peacock. The Song

The song represents the story of Solomon: it illustrates Ryna's yearning for Solomon to stay with her and the children “There is nothing here to help him. Not his money, his car, his father’s reputation, his suit or his shoes. In fact, they hampered him.... all he had started out with on his journey was gone” (277) Milkman leaves behind all of his worldly possessions during his journey. Final flight Milkman is able to fly in the last page of the novel because he has rejected his father's philosphy of greed. He breaks free from the Dead family and discovers his own personality through the journey south. Jake the only son of Solomon
Come booba yalle, come booba tambee
Whirled about and touched the sun
Come konka yalle, come konka tambee
Left that baby in a white man's house
Come booba yalle, come booba tambee
Heddy took him to a red man's house
Come konka yalle, come konka tambee

Black lady fell down on the ground
Come booba yalle, come booba tambee
Threw her body all around
Come konka yalle, come konka tambee
Solomon and Ryna Belali Shalut
Yaruba Medina Muhammet too.
Nestor Kalina Saraka cake.
Twenty-one children, the last one Jake!

O Solomon don't leave me here
Cotton balls to choke me
O Solomon don't leave me here
Buckra's arms to yoke me
Solomon done fly, Solomon done gone
Solomon cut accross the sky, Solomon gone home.
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