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Racism in Toni Morrison's Song of Solmon Essay

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Racism in Toni Morrison's Song of Solmon


Milkman is born on the day that Mr. Smith kills himself trying to fly; Milkman as a child wanted to fly until he found out that people could not. When he found, "that only birds and airplanes could fly&emdash;he lost all interest in himself" (9). The novel Song of Solomon is about an African American man nicknamed Milkman. This novel, by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison was first published in 1977, shows a great deal of the African American culture, and the discrimination within their culture at the time Song of Solomon takes place. In part one, the setting is in a North Carolina town in the 30's and 40's.
 
Part one introduces readers to not only Milkman, but also to his family and friends. His father holds power in the African American community because he has his own business and is ambitious. Milkman's mother is a center figure in the community simply because her father was the doctor. Milkman has a mysterious unmarried Aunt, with a single daughter and granddaughter. He also has a friend, Guitar who is a member of a group of seven African American men dedicated to keeping the 'ratio' between blacks and whites the same. Throughout the novel, Milkman gradually learns about his families past as well as forgotten pieces of his own childhood.
 
In part two, Milkman goes south to his father's hometown. He is looking for a fortune that his father and aunt had found long before. When he does not find the fortune he begins trying to find where it went. This takes him to where his great grandfather and mother originated. Milkman eventually is led to the town where he is a direct descendant of the town's legend, Solomon. It is in this town that Milkman finds himself and becomes his own m...


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... lied for it, killed for it," (247). For her revenge, after all of the Butlers died Circe says "I want to see it all go, make sure it does go, and that nobody fixes it up. I brought the dogs in to make sure" (247). She allows everything they loved to be destroyed.
 
Morrison shows readers a side of American History rarely seen. She shows the deepness of prejudice and how many different ways it has effected people. While she does this she also tells a story of soul searching, Milkman tries to find himself among many people who are confused and ate up by hate and prejudice. In the end, he is able to find who he is and where he stands on all of the issues that are going on around him. When he gets this understanding Milkman retrieves, and achieves his childhood dream of flying.

Works Cited

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


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