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Song of Solomon

Flying as well as other African-American mythology plus various motifs in the novel...

English 105

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Song of Solomon

Flying and African-American mythology Character Archetypes Magic Realism
and Motifs symbolic for Communal Escape "The People Could Fly" "They say the people could fly. Say that long ago in Africa, some of the people knew magic..." "They say that the children of the ones who could not fly told their children. And now, me, I have told it to you." Flight symbolizes not only escape & resistance transcendence Not for individuals or humankind Symbolic just to African-American culture and heritage Captured Slaves don't simply escape They regain social status from slaves to Africans Literally... African American Caribbean & slaves jump overboard Legend... they actually flew Interpreted... Symbolically http://www.marineinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/slave-ship-revolt.jpeg http://wws.peacecorps.gov/wws/educators/enrichment/africa/images/map.gif http://www.caribbean-on-line.com/images/caribbean-map-postcard.gif Ralph Ellison's "Flying Home" Ishmael Reed's "Flight to Canada" Richard Perry's "Montgomery's Children" Explicitly Paule Marshall's “Praisesong for the Widow” Toni Morrison's “Song of Solomon” Flying Use of magic and magical events that seem realistic to the characters in the story Magical Realism Usually used for symbolism in novels Young, innocent, attractive, "damsel in distress", and often looking for a man. The Maiden Famous Maidens:
Daisy (The Great Gatsby)
Persephone (Greek mythology)
Ophelia (Hamlet)
Every Romantic Comedy heroine ever Hagar the Maiden Naive
Waiting for Milkman to marry her
Goes crazy when he leaves her
Wants a fairytale romance Magic Realism in Song of Solomon Signifies White Dominance and Interference White Bull Guitar: "All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Wanna fly , you got to give up the shit that ways you down." White Peacock Signifies greed as well as the theory that you have to not let things weigh you down "They were smothering her, taking away her breath with their soft jagged lips. And she merely smiled and fought them off as though they were harmless butterflies." Tulips Flowers seem to be symbol of her father and their relationship Signifies the verbal and physical abuse in her relationship with Macon and the way that she continues to fight back "She likes to plant flowers. She really likes it. But you should have seen her face. She looked like the unhappiest woman in the world. The most miserable." "Two of the birds circled round them. One dived into the new grave and scooped something shiny in its beak before it flew away" Pilate's Death Milkman realizes that he always loved Pilate for her ability to let things go The birds stealing her earring signify the way theme of keeping the family name alive "For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it." The Song Song of Solomon Symbol of Escape Symbols in the book - Solomon
- Milkman
- Pilate Symbol of Abandonment - Solomon and Ryna
- Macon Dead, his sister and wife
- Milkman and Hagar Symbol for Freedom - Robert Smith
- Song of Solomon
- Milkman
-Pilate 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 Relali 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 across the sky, Solomon gone home pg 303 d Quotes Traditionally male, he embarks on journeys or adventures to slay monsters or to find something of value. The Hero "My name's Macon; I'm already dead." Milkman Shared traits of Heroes and Milkman
1. Unusual circumstances of birth
a. threatened —especially by father
2. Immortality
a. last name
3. Upon reaching manhood they go on a journey
a. Hero's Quest is for identity and wholeness
3. Return to their homeland or kingdom
4. Mysterious death Famous Heroes:
King Arthur
Jesus Christ
Harry Potter Opposing force to the hero, embodies chaos, doesn't follow rules Shadow Guitar Bain Beginning- Guitar completes Milkman
introduces Milkman to community outside of Not Doctor Street.

Middle to End- Splitting apart
Guitar tells Milkman to grow up
Differences in points of view
Guitar fixated on revenge, Seven Days
Greed and murder
metaphor Famous Shadows:
Mr. Hyde
Loki (Norse)
Darth Vader
Satan (Biblical) Stern, controlling, powerful head of the family. The Father Biblical Allusions Motifs a recurring subject, theme, or idea, especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work. Naming Singing What it was?
I have done my Liza Leap
& am safe in the arms
of Canada, so
Ain't no use your Slave
Catchers waitin on me
At Trailways
I won't be there

I flew in non-stop
Jumbo jet this A.M. Had
Compliments of the Cap'n "Flight to Canada" "Flying Home" Shoots, why don't yuh go on an' try it, thought Riley. Go on, li'l bird. Don't be scaired. But the little robin just sat there fanning its wings and cheeping. Then Riley saw the old robin fly off into a nearby tree. ... Shoots, I bet I could make yuh fly. Morrison gave many of her characters biblical
names to add an allusion to their characters.
In accordance with this many of the
characters become just like their namesake. Pilate Hagar Ruth Solomon Names are both oppressors and liberators. Names give us a sense of belonging and of being able to trace your roots. Recorded names are often unreliable. Nicknames signify who they are. Singing is a part of their oral tradition and past. Songs keep African American
history and culture alive. Singing and songs have a healing power. Without wiping away the tears, taking a deep breath, or even bending his knees-he leaped. As fleet and bright as a lodestar he wheeled toward Guitar and it did not matter which one of them would give up his ghost in the killing arms of his brother. For now he knew what Schalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it. “Song of Solomon” "Montgomery's Children" An old woman, either 100% good or 100% evil, uses magic, very wise/cunning, and (if good) helps the main character(s) on their journey. The Crone Famous Crones (good):
Fairy Godmother
Baba Yaga (Slavic)
Elli (Norse) Pilate the Crone Born without a navel
Guides Milkman on his quest for answers
Believes in voodoo and magic
Lives outside of society Famous Fathers:
Odin (Norse)
Lord Capulet (Shakespeare) “You a big man now, but big ain’t nearly enough. You have to be a whole man.
And if you want to be a whole man you have to deal with the truth.” Macon Dead Promotes masculinity
Controls his family and uses them for his own ends
Wants to control his son
Common part of African myths is that the father is worried that the son will overthrow him
Milkman's retaliation and burden of "truth" "Praisesong for the Widow" “O Sugarman done fly away/Sugarman done gone/Sugarman cut across the sky/ Sugarman gone home… A few of the half a hundred or so people gathered there nudged each other and sniggered. Others listened as though it were the helpful and defining piano music in a silent movie. They stood this way for some time, none of them crying out to Mr. Smith, all of them preoccupied with one or the other of the minor events about them, until the hospital people came.” “Milkman stopped waving and narrowed his eyes. He could just make out Guitar’s head and shoulders in the dark. ‘You want my life?’ Milkman was not shouting now. ‘You need it? Here.’ Without wiping away the tears, taking a deep breath, or even bending his knees- he leaped. As fleet and bright as a lodestar he wheeled toward Guitar and it did not matter which one of them would give up his ghost in the killing arms of his brother. For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” "Gonna forfeit the fifteen hundred dollars she paid for the cruise and then turn around and spend more money to take a plane home! Now what kinda sense do that make, will you tell me?" How? Norman asked.
A lynch mob.
But you live.
I was saved by a man who could fly.

Normon collided with his dream. He wanted to say, "Can I fly?" but again the words were different. How do I find out where I comes from?

You'll discover the way. There is someone you must protect. Someone to pass on to what you will know. The Mother Older, protective, usually quiet, and very often the mother of the hero/maiden. Famous mothers:
Hera (Greek mythology)
Penelope (Odyssey)
Mrs. Frisby (Secret of NIMH)
Marge Simpson Ruth the Mother Mother of Milkman
Keeps mostly to herself
Deals with Macon's anger
Fiercely protective of her children
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