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Essay about A Sick Love in Toni Morrison´s Song of Solomon

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In Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison constantly shifts the setting of the novel, tone, style and theme to frame Hagar’s character in the novel as a round character revealing her weaknesses due to a love obsession also foreshadowing her upcoming decay. Hagar being one of the central characters of the story is also a very contradictory character who as a child was an independent, intelligent, realistic and unattached girl with the freedom that her mother and grandmother “passed on” to her. They had no attachments or necessities for support from men as white women and many black women did during and before the Civil Rights movement, yet (she) “loses” power over her will for a “love” that drags her to death. Although, Hagar possessed identity of a black child due to freedom, she was also a spoiled child who lived with nothing, yet desired everything just as a white spoiled child who would ask and be pleased. It is presumed by many characters that this was the cause of her failure and inability to recover.
Thought out the novel, Morrison constantly shifts setting to emphasize the passing of time; for instance the novel begins in Mercy Hospital, 1931 in Michigan with Milkman’s birth then as time passes by it takes place in different streets such as “Not Doctor Street,” the barbershop place and “Darling Street.” Each place is given a significant name symbolizing the people who live in there. However, when it comes to Hagar, the setting surrounding her character is basically “Darling Street” where she lives with her mother and grandmother, Guitar’s place (where she sees Milkman), the mall where she “buys her beauty” products and the hair salon. Since she is not the main character of the novel, Morrison acknowledges the reader of Hagar t...


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...y of the characters in the novel are not bounded to their african ancestry and culture due to the American culture they live in and the believes that whites have imposed of being better and correct. Being in the middle of the Civil Rights movement, and living in a time where blacks and women were unequal to white males, and having the freedom and ideas from her grandmother that a woman does not need a man to live, she ironically turns all against it. Hagar oppresses herself by giving up her identity as a black woman and her pride as individual to retain what she no longer possesses. She ends up being a failure because she decided it and it is therefore women ought to not lose their true identities and values and use those to be self-loving individuals to then be able to love others.




Work Cited

Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: Knopf, 1977. Print.


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