Preview
Preview

The Juxtaposition of Ruth Foster and Pilate Dead in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 937 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Toni Morrison juxtaposes Ruth Foster and Pilate Dead, in Song of Solomon, to highlight the separate roles they play in the protagonist Milkman’s journey.
Early in the novel Morrison, uses the juxtaposition of Ruth Foster and Pilate dead, when she tells of the flight of Mr. Robert Smith from Mercy Hospital. Ruth Foster, not yet described as such, is known as the “dead doctor’s daughter” (5). During this scene her insignificance is made clear, “the rose-petal scramble, got a lot of attention, but the pregnant lady’s moans did not” (5). This scene perfectly embodies Ruth Foster’s character, as diminutive, and unimportant, she also ignores the flight of the Mr. Smith as the pedestrians ignore her and Mr. Smith. On the other hand, Pilate Dead, is the singer in the crowd that notices Mr. Smith’s flight and says, “O Sugarman done fly away” (6), introducing the theme of the novel, flight, and representing her understanding of it, while others remain oblivious. This is important, because this is Milkman’s journey, the discovery of the flight of his people, or the realization of his people’s culture. Pilate, Milkman’s aunt, also foreshadows his “flight”, which is a main theme of the novel, ‘A little bird’ll be here with the morning” (9), whereas his mother, Ruth, says, “It can’t be...It’s too soon,” (9) this shows her role in the novel as keeping Milkman from his flight, while Pilate teaches him he can fly. "Mr. Smith's blue silk wings must have left their mark, because when the little boy discovered, at four, the same thing Mr. Smith had learned earlier - that only birds and airplanes could fly - he lost all interest in himself" (9). Tis loss of flight symbolizes Milkman’s loss of his heritage, which Pilate tries to reinstall in him, ...


... middle of paper ...


...ography book. But had been from one end of the country to another. One wholly dependent on money for life, the other indifferent to it. But those were the meaningless things. Their similarities were profound. Both were vitally interested in Macon Dead’s son, and both had close and supportive posthumous communication with their fathers” (139). They are very different in personality, but they both want Milkman, Pilate wishes to teach him love and culture, and Ruth wishes to keep Milkman at her side. These characteristics lead Milkman along his journey, both as hindrances and as salvation, and without these juxtaposed mother-figures in Milkman’s life he would not have a well-rounded character and growth which is brought from his struggles brought by his mother, and his triumphs from Pilate.


Works Cited

Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
From Pilate to Pilate and Song to Song Essay - Toni Morrison presents various different allusions to the Bible in her novel Song of Solomon. The most apparent examples of this are represented within the parallels between Pontius Pilate and Pilate Dead, along with the thematic plot of love present in the novel and in the biblical book Song of Solomon. Morrison shows a great deal of correlation between the Bible and Song of Solomon. She uses her creativity to present familiar characters in a new and different light. She is able to present the same characteristics in an original story that has a vast amount of biblical similarities in love, strength, and power....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 3 Works Cited
2471 words
(7.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Importance of Names in Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon Essay - The Importance of Names in Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon Toni Morrison’s award-winning novel Song of Solomon is full of very interesting, deep symbolism. Macon Dead III, nicknamed “Milkman,” is a very symbolic character throughout the novel. His character is not only symbolic, for so is his name. Also, Milkman’s paternal aunt, Pilate, has an extremely significant and symbolic role in the novel. To her father, she represents the child who killed her own mother and took away her father’s wife....   [tags: Toni Morrison Song Solomon Essays] 892 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Transformation of Milkman in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Essay - Transformation of Milkman in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, the character of Milkman gradually learns to respect and to listen to women. This essay will examine Milkman's transformation from boy to man. In the first part of the novel, he emulates his father, by being deaf to women's wisdom and women's needs, and casually disrespecting the women he should most respect. He chooses to stray from his father's example and leaves town to obtain his inheritance and to become a self-defined man....   [tags: Song Solomon essays Toni Morrison Papers]
:: 1 Works Cited
1788 words
(5.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Milkman's Transformation in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon - Milkman's Transformation in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Milkman experiences many changes in behavior throughout the novel Song of Solomon. Until his early thirties most would consider him self centered, or even self-loathing. Until his maturity he is spoiled by his mother Ruth and sisters Lena and Corinthian because he is a male. He is considered wealthy for the neighborhood he grew up in and he doesn't socialize because of this. As a result of his spoiled childhood Milkman takes women for granted....   [tags: Song Solomon Toni Morrison Essays Papers]
:: 1 Works Cited
689 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Destructive Love in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Essay examples - Destructive Love in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon When an emotion is believed to embody all that brings bliss, serenity, effervescence, and even benevolence, although one may believe its encompassing nature to allow for generalizations and existence virtually everywhere, surprisingly, directly outside the area love covers lies the very antithesis of love: hate, which in all its forms, has the potential to bring pain and destruction. Is it not for this very reason, this confusion, that suicide bombings and other acts of violence and devastation are committed…in the name of love....   [tags: Solomon Toni Morrison] 1770 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Fight for Freedom in Toni Morrison's The Song of Solomon Essay - Fight for Freedom in Toni Morrison's The Song of Solomon "The scream that boomed down the cave tunnel and woke the bats came just when Macon thought that he had taken his last living breath. The bleeding man turned toward the direction of the scream and looked at the colored girl long enough for Macon to pull out his knife and bring it down the old man's back. He crashed forward, then turned his head to look at them. His mouth moved and he mumbles something that sounds like 'What for?' Macon stabbed him again and again until he stopped moving his mouth, stop trying to talk and stopped jumping and twitching on the ground" (pg....   [tags: Song of Solomon Essays] 876 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Spirituality in Song of Solomon - Inclusive Spirituality in Song of Solomon   When slaves were brought to America they were taken from all they had known and forced to live in a land of dark irony that, while promising life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, provided them with only misery. In a situation such as the one in which the slaves found themselves, many people would rely on their religion to help them survive. But would slaves be able to find spiritual comfort within the parameters of a religion that had been passed on to them from the slaveholders....   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 878 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Control in Song of Solomon - Fight for Control in Song of Solomon     The idea of complete independence and indifference to the surrounding world, symbolized by flying, stands as a prominent concept throughout Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon. However, the main character Milkman feels that this freedom lies beyond his reach; he cannot escape the demands of his family and feel fulfilled at the same time. As Milkman's best friend Guitar says through the novel, "Everybody wants a black man's life," a statement Milkman easily relates to while seeking escape from his sheltered life at home....   [tags: Song Solomon essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1022 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon - Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O Sugarman done fly away Sugarman done gone Sugarman cut across the sky Sugarman gone home......   [tags: Song Solomon essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
2134 words
(6.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Song of Solomon Essay: Devotion and Protection - Devotion and Protection in Song of Solomon Song of Solomon is a novel written by Toni Morrison. As research is done further, into the bible, the title refers to a book from the Old Testament. A major theme of the book in the bible is love. It is about honor and loyalty. This is similar to the theme of love and protection in the book by Toni Morrison. Three female characters that portray this best are: Pilate, Ruth, and Magdalene called Lena. In the book, they are women that try to protect the people they love from men in their family....   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 599 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]