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Flight in Toni Morisson's Song of Solomon Essay

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Flight in Toni Morisson's Song of Solomon


I do not have the fondest memories of moving to this area. Of everyone in my family, I was the only one who did not want to move. I had no choice, however, so I had to live with it. Seeing how depressed I was, my parents decided to do something special for my birthday. Ever since I was little I had always dreamed of flying, so when we were in Crawford looking for property, my parents arranged for someone to take me up. The day was cold, cloudy and dreary, but the realization that I was actually going to fly made up for it.

Flight has always infatuated me. Maybe it is the weightlessness of birds that does it, but flight has always been more than just a type of transportation to me. It was a gift I did not have. For this reason, I was able to connect with the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. In the novel Song of Solomon, the theme of flying is developed by a dynamic song for which the book is named. The "Song of Solomon" helps develop the theme of flying by introducing it in the opening scene, by showing what flight means to the main character Milkman, as well as, through its constant changing, showing the true meaning of the novel.

The activity in the opening scene can be rather confusing, however, there is one action that ties it all together. One character, which will eventually be known as Pilate, begins singing as soon as she sees Mr. Smith, an insurance agent, preparing himself to 'fly', or commit suicide. The fact that she is singing really has no effect, but the song she sings does. She begins singing, "O Sugarman done fly away/ Sugarman done gone/ Sugarman cut across the sky/ Sugar man gone home...." (p 6) This song describes Mr. Smith, who is wearing blue silk wi...


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...ansportation, or a form of recreation. It was a way to get away from your insecurities, the pressures of life. It was being able to have your own life in your hands. As Milkman faces death by someone else's hands, he uses that gift. By taking his own life he shows that 'flying' is what keeps us free of chains, burdens and social pressures, and lets us choose what is right for us.

Music is a wonderful attribute to the arts, and in the case of Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon, it is what ties the theme of flight together. Whether it is allowing the introduction of the theme, showing the feelings of a character or leading the reader to find the meaning of the novel, it is indisputable that the "Song of Solomon," a song of flight, ties the theme and essentially the novel together.

Works Cited:

Morisson, Toni. "Song of Solomon." Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1977.


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