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Song of Solomon

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Sarah S

on 13 April 2015

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Transcript of Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon
By Toni Morrison
Biblical Allusions
Toni Morrison
Civil Rights
Macon Dead Jr
Ruth Foster (Dead)
Magdalene (Lena) Dead
First Corinthians Dead
Milkman (Macon) Dead III

name change: disconnects him from his father
Pilate Dead
Dedication: Daddy

next page:
The fathers may soar
And the children may know their names

what are the men you know really like?
CH 1 - 5
Chapter 1
- money and display of it// Reputation
- death
- Mr. Smith, their last name, milkman's grandma
- nature
- family dynamics
- naming (also some info in Geography)
- not doctor street, no mercy,

- colors: red, white, blue, black
- flight: smith -> milkman -> Porter
- Pilate has no belly button, disconnected to her heritage
Macon Dead Sr. // Jake
names and the past: 4,5,14-15, 17-18, 23,27,
CH 6 - 11
Ch 12 - 15
Ch 15
Ch 14
Ch 13

red, white, blue and black in ch 1

warm colors (orange, yellow, red) in ch 2 even though talking about death -- also some green
also ch 2 pg 41 black might as well be a rainbow

Macon Sr. wouldn't let anyone say this name
Ch 12
pg 54 - 55
Pilate is compared to a snake
pg 51
Pg 40 - 41
- who is she, is she a snake? 40-41
- connected to nature
- likes specific answers
- both name and snake have connotations of the devil
- think she is not this and this is juxtaposition
- believes in people
- isolated (different than Macon (foils) but similar)
pg 51
- his childhood is all about what he owns
- father was a slave so owning land was important
- referred to as heaven
- taken away
- is this an explanation or an excuse for what he is/how he acts?
- connection
pg 31, 35
- "concentration on things behind him"
- don't know about his past at all
- thinks he has no future
- without a past there is no future?
- whites suppressing him?
- (beginning asks "what are the men you know really like?")
- incest = look inward
- care about themselves, not community
pg 86ish ch 3
hit scene: why do the women react the way they do

Pg 63
he recognizes that society is broken
wants the crumbs if can't have the pie
is he a man for doing this?
is this moral?
impacting next generation?
- Morrison did not like the mystery of creativity
- Father's death was one of her muses
- African American culture
○ Biblical importance
§ Phrases in regular conversation
○ Language
§ Lyrics from songs were used in conversation
- Song/ music
○ Can reveal history
§ Way of communication
○ Mother was inspiration

- Stories and myths
○ Myth about flight
§ African slaves that flew back to africa from the US
○ Flights will be pivotal in the book
○ Flight has many different connotations
§ Escape
§ Move from earth to more spiritual

What to possibly expect:
- Importance of language
- The act of singing
- How will characters escape?
- What will they sacrifice?

Escape?--> Death = escape?
7 Days
Redlining + Great Migration
- Zoned areas on a map where something is desirable
- Redlining: denying or limiting of financial services
- Macon Jr. is in Real Estate : works in 4th grade, wants to purchase in 1st
○ Problems with this
○ Racial tension
- Relocation??
The Great Migration
- Large waves of African Americans fled from the south to the north
- Violence
○ Racism
○ Jim crow laws
- Culture
○ Harlem renaissance
§ Lit
§ Music
- Flight: only birds and airplanes could fly pg 9
○ Not true, migration
- Names: connection to heritage
- Change
○ Macon Dead III --> Milkman
○ Location
- Song: sugarman pg 6
○ Opinion

- 14 yr old and killed him for whistling at a white
○ Brutally, viscously murdered
- Murders were acquitted of all charges
- Symbol of racism
- Open casket = important b/c he was not hidden
- Guitar compares Till's death to the situation between Milkman and his father
- Milkman sees Till's death as insignificant
○ Will he recognize that something has to change?
- Will Guitar or Milkman end up being involved in racial violence?
- Easy to recognize change when you have nothing to lose

- Spark for civil rights
○ Kindling was that he was the same
○ Not about the particular death that was significant but it is the flaw in the system

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Biblical Names
Magical Elements
Dream of Tulips
pg 104-105
1. the dream itself
ruth + tulips
2. Milk's response
+nature of dreams
why tulips?
snake or sex linked
she was playful towards this
lack of attention from her father so this might explain why she reacts this way
also she also has weird relationships with men
daddy issues
Fake roses
Milk's reaction
- do nothing
while tulips basically rape her
- related to the father hitting scene
- why did he hit him?
- Ruth + sisters think he did nothing
have no purpose
can you be a man if you are inwardly turning?
tulips pg 104
Song of Solomon
visit the lake house area
"Negroes don't like water" pg 35
Milk meets Pilate for the first time
she tells stories of the past
fall in love with Hagar basically
learns of Macon's past
snake is a snake
starts to work for Macon
meet the Tommys
a lot about Ruth
hit scene pg 67
talk about relationship w/ Ruth and Dr. Foster (her dad)
milkman's namesake is talked about
"He was already Dead"
pg 89
contemplate relationship w/ Hagar
Pilate killing that guy
Winnie Ruth = killer
escaped prison multiple times
pg 99
race stuff pg 103
tulip "dream" pg 105
Ghosts killing 109
what is North v. South pg 114
congo vs. French pg 116
North Pole pg 117
tea pg 115
ch 2 w/ Pilate
115, 116
fried eggs 253
orange juice 253
bacon 253
grits and biscuits 253
know before he is born
ch 1
day before you die
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Pilate Dead: Pontius Pilate ordered the crucifixion of Jesus
Reba: Rebekah was the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau
Hagar: Hagar is Sarah and Abraham’s maid, gets banished
Magdalene called Lena: Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus and was present at the crucifixion and resurrection.
First Corinthians: relates to Paul – he talked about the importance of unity under the church and the importance of love
Ruth: Ruth followed her mother-in-law even when she was not wanted – showed her loyalty
Circe: possibly meant “bird” in Latin translation of the Greek. In Greek mythology she is a sorceress

7 guys who kill random white guys when a black person gets murdered. Guitar is the Sunday guy
3rd day he rose again

dad seen as ghost on 3rd day
find out that Hagar has tried to kill Milkman like 6 times
follow mom to cemetery
Ruth and Pilate bond
Hagar freezes while trying to kill Milkman
Ruth and Hagar meet
Hear Pilate's background
learn about the navel thing
having Reba
n v s
pg 115
123 - Fairfield Cemetery
Dr. Foster

history in tales told, and song
book ends before civil rights
seven days society
kills whites in same way a black person was murdered
would guitar kill a black person?
Malcom X: believed that whites = devil
reason behind violence
own benefit?
help society?
what will Milkman do?
focus on ch 6
Short Stories
name means (look up)
in SOS there is a constant battle of race
how does Twyla and Roberta relationship compare to Milkman and Guitar?
songs/tales -> Civil Rights
- MLK vs Malcom X
---> Seven Days (Validity)
- Milks Role moving forward
Guitar's View
go back to pg 99,104, 110,120
go to pg 149
"O can't such my teeth or say 'Eh, eh, eh.' I had to do something. And the only thing left to do is balance it; keep things on an even keel. pg 154
Every death is the death of five to seven generations pg 154
"it was thier way of explaining what they believes was white madness- crimes planned and executed in a truly lunatic manner against total standers." 100
More important, they believed the crimes they committed were legitimate because they wree committed in the heat of passion: anger, jealousy, loss of face, and so on." 100
Milkman's View
action becomes habit
you are what you do
161, a torpeo is a torpedo
also a snake is a snake
it you become what you hate, you lose
self-defense = acceptable
culture-defense = honorable
sacrifice life or morality
bad = punished
good = reward
bad = reward = sinner
good = punished = above morality
to do the right thing, knowing it sends you to hell is the height of morality
race is a numbers game
pg 120
Gender Roles
"thank you" pg 99
learn about the seven days
ratio/balance/numbers for race in Guitars opinion
milkman's is that murder is wrong and you are what you do
money = freedom
green sack at Pilates
Macon + Pilate's past
Macon Sr.
pile of gold
pg 162
reference pg 133?
also family dynamics
pg 168
Birmingham Church Bombing
KKK was responsible for a lot of the bombings
happened Sept. 15, 1963
killed 4 little girls (African American), blinded one, and injured 20 others
Birmingham = Bombingham
KKK leader was convicted of murder
created civil rights act + voting act
Guitar wants to kill 4 little white girls
will Milkman be involved?
man's job is to protect stereotypically
fight is turning towards children
Emmitt Till ch 3
7 Days ch 6
church bombing - ch 8
church bombing
bring guitar in on plan to steal gold
see the white peacock
ginger smell thing
steal the sack
"Too much tail. All that jewelery weights it down. Like vanity. Can't nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down." (179)
Corinthians is a maid for Michael-Mary Graham
family doesn't know
C + L expected to marry rich respectable black men
Henry Porter courts C
C is ashamed of him and her job
almost break up but get together
find out M and G got arrested for stealing
sack had human bones in it
find out who all of the 7 Days members are
has a sobering conversation with Lena
C had to stop dating + working b/c of Milk
In the Bible it is a lyrical poem in the Old testament about two lovers - a young black maiden and King Solomon.
Page 207
the white man's bones that Pilate carries around are Mr. Soloman's
pg 196-- every woman is a doll baby
she saved Milkman's life before he was born
cares for him
People in the 7 Days:
Empire State
Railroad Tommy
Hospital Tommy
man (milk doesn't know his name)
pg 213
she was the one who started making artificial roses so she could keep quiet
compares it to an insane person
tried to kill Milkman
segregation in schools caused unequal level of education
edu -> job -> house
brown vs. board of education
little rock 9
enrolled in a white school
Who is educated in the novel?
Dr. Foster
First Corinthians
other docs, lawyers, teachers
everyone else is uneducated
edu = independence?
does a guy need edu to be a man?
does edu matter?
Gender Roles + Employment
men expected to protect + provide for fam
women expected to look after house + fam
black women had least amount of job options
white men had most
Corinthians was ashamed of being a maid
college did not help her get better job
will anyone break gender roles or employment norm
pg 187, 213, 10
Hansel and Gretel reference
Milkman travels to find the gold
wants to live his own life
goes to Danville
Reverend Cooper knows his father and they talk about his childhood some
Talks to the ghost of Circe
learn about Macon Jr and Pilate's mom - Sing
Jake = Macon Sr's real name
travels to find cave w/ bones & gold
"In the air, away from real life, he felt free, but on the ground, when he talked to Guitar just before he left, the wings of all those other people's nightmares flapped in his face and constrained him" (220)
"Everybody wants the life of a black man. Everybody" (222)
Sing Dead
find out in ch 10
part of 7 days
bc his father was killed?
pg 224
even when little his eyes were gold pg 22
"It makes me think of dead people. And white people. And I start to puke" 61
talking about sugar
pg 235
Milkman believes that some people are "dumb enough to believe that if they killed one man his whole line died" (236)

this idea emphasizes that he thinks the 7 Days is stupid
Flying African Specifically
heritage = valued objects and qualities
flying africans:
sweet scent of Africa
Milkman needs an escape
milkman will escape through learning about his heritage
Milkman is the only one who has taken initiative to escape
sacrifices: leave everything he knows
Heritage and African Folklore
red roses
blue wings, water
"negroes don't like the water" 35
green sack
dying tree
1. Men seek to Dominate women
family roles/ responsibilities
by men, so even when women have power, it is a power given + allowed by men
power does no give C self-esteem, but she acquires it thru her relationship w/ him. thus, the true test of a rel. is what is enables (or disables) the people to do
Morrison confronts and subverts our assumptions of hwar colors mean, asserting that we never just see a thing, we're always bringing our past knowledge + experience in to making meaning (consciously or not)
white peacock ch 8
white bull
white hen
milk = white
too much pride???
white rat (dr. foster) 73
on his journey he sheds his possessions as he goes back in time to the south
milk = white
white = pride
milk = pride?
Milkman's Travels
hunger will be a theme
ch 11 it is gold
literally tracing Pilate's past
reconnects Milkman with the past
bus to danville
first sign of joy at his family
Shalimar, VA
"I am not responsible for your pain; share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness" (277)
he has nothing --> allows him to bounce back
own things
protector ----> this journey
give and take in 285 -- saying / talking
Sing/Song/ Lyrics
"O sugarman done fly away/ Sugarman done gone/ Sugarman cut across the sky/ Sugarman gone home...." pg 6
pg 9 when Mr. Smith leaps
"But then he heard the music. They were singing. All of them. Pilate, Reba, and Reba's daughter, Hagar." 28
"there was no music there, and tonight he wanted just a bit of music" 28 -- no music at his house
"Singing now, her face would be a mask; all emotion and passion would have left her features and entered her voice" 29
"O Sugarman don't leave me here/ Cotton balls to choke me/ O sugarman don't leave me here/ Buckra's arms to yoke me..." 49
Clear as day, her father said 'Sing. Sing,' and later he leaned in at the window an said, 'You just can't fly on off and leave a body" 147
"Sing. Her name was Sing" pg 243
"Milkman's feet were singing...he dared not spread his toes, lest the singing never stop" 254
264, 299
303 -- full song
"the fact was he wanted the gold because it was gold and he wanted to own it." 257
in Shalimar
gets soda and hears guitars message for him
gets in a fight
children = birds
goes on a hunt
for a bobcat
the deserve thing 276
guitar attacks milkman
has revelations
first time he gives and takes pg 285
children = birds pg 268
admits he is ignorant and vain pg 276
peacock flew 283
goes to talk to Ms. Byrd
she is distantly related to Milk
important to find his people
find out Guitar tried to kill Milkman b/c he thought he had the gold
get homesick for his family
hears a children's song about his family
only birds and airplanes could fly - pg 9
"I love ya! I love ya all. Don't act like that. you women. stop it. don't act like that. don't you see I love ya? I'd die for ya, kill for ya. I'm saying I love ya. I'm telling ya. Oh, God ave mercy. What I'm gonna do?.... I'll take hate any day. But don't give me love. I can't take no more love, Lord. I can't carry it. Just like Mr Smith. he couldn't carry it. It's too heavy. Jesus you know. " 26
"Riding backward made him uneasy. It was like flying blind, and not knowing where he was going - just where he had been - troubled him" 32
"It was becoming a habit - this concentration on things behind him." 35
"Milkman was five feet seven then but it was the first tie in his life that he remembered being completely happy" 47
he owns other people -> slave owner (pg 55)
"people do funny things. Specially us. The cards are stacked against us and just trying to stay in the game, stay alive and in the game, makes us do funny things. Things we can't help. Things that make us hurt one another. " - Guitar 87
"'he is my home in this world' 'And i am his,' said Ruth" 137
Hagar + Ruth talking about Milk
Sweet - Ginger Smell
pg 185, 199, 239, 287, 311
201 reference to pg 1
"'Die, Hagar, die.' Either this bitch dies or I do. And she stood there like a puppet strung up by a puppet master who had gone off to some other hobby.
O Solomon don't leave me here
" 301
milkman = solomon?
Susan Byrd
307: a "chorus" of family
look at event surrounding it
look at religion
flashback to Hagar
when she tried to kill Milkman
Hagar keeps going on "no wonder"
"I need everything" - Hagar
buys all sorts of new clothes and such but gets ruined in the rain
talks about her hair and how Milk doesn't like it
She dies -- reason unknown
back to Milk
goes to Susan Byrd's house again
she now tells Milk more straight up answers
talk about Somolon/Shalimar
he could fly
tried to fly home w/ jake but dropped him
Milkman needs the sea/ocean
very energetic
happy about family
talk about names
"guitar is a very good Day" ?
talks about past w/ Pilate
kids keep the past alive
Guitar shoots Pilate
Milk dies?
old testament:
allusions to nature, riches
Hagar realizes how much Milkman did not love her
thinks it is b/c of her looks
elements of vanity
beauty = love??
Hagar is held down my vanity
in bible Hagar receives mercy from an angel
pg 317, 318
"names had meaning. no wonder Pilate put hers in her ear. When you know your name, you should hang on to it, for unless it is noted down and remembered, it will die when you do" (329)
could fly
20 Others
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