Free Song of Solomon Essays: Father and Son Relationship


Length: 841 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document

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

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



The Father and Son Relationship in Song of Solomon

 

The book called Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, deals with many real life issues, most of which are illustrated by the relationships between different family members.

 

One archetypal relationship that Morrison includes in her book is the father:son relationship. Although it is obvious that Morrison does talk about this topic, it is not so obvious what she is trying to say about it. So, one might ask, how does the author establish the father:son relationships throughout Song of Solomon and do they fit some sort of archetype? To answer a question such as this, it would be beneficial to examine the actual father:son relationships throughout the book.

 

One established father:son relationships that is significant to this issue is the one between Milkman and Macon. From the start, Macon objected to Milkman even being born; he forced Ruth to do things to her body that could possibly kill the fetus. With a little help from Pilate, however, Milkman was allowed into the world.

 

Macon, perhaps instigated by never having a mother and seeing his own father killed, has always appeared to be a cold and unforgiving parent even to his other children besides Milkman, but since Macon heard that his son¹s nickname was ³Milkman² he has seen him as a symbol of his disgust for his wife and lost a lot of respect for his son and became even colder towards him. The only time Macon did spend time with Milkman, he spent it boasting about his own great upbringing, warning him to stay away from Pilate and telling him about the embarrassing actions of Ruth. This is the manner in which Morrison establishes the relationship between Macon and Milkman in the first part of the book.

 

As Milkman grows up, he recognizes the emotional distance between his father and himself. He goes his own way with a few skirmishes here and there and later he even manages to hit his own father. As Macon and Milkman grow apart and go their separate ways, Milkman doesn¹t even think twice about it and just continues on with his life as if nothing was different.

 

Near the end of the book Milkman seems to change his view of his father, with some help from the positive memories of the old men in the passage.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Song of Solomon Essays: Father and Son Relationship." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jan 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=11242>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Literacy in Song of Solomon - Literacy in Song of Solomon   Through literacy will come emancipation. But emancipation comes in many forms, as does literacy. The various aspects of academic literacy are rather obvious in relation to emancipation, especially when one is confronted with exclusion from membership in the dominant culture. Most, but not all, of Toni Morrison's characters in Song of Solomon appear to have attained at least a modicum of literacy. But what part does literacy play in the advancement of the individual, and to what lengths will one go to achieve it....   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 918 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Flight in Song of Solomon - Theme of Flight in Song of Solomon   Clearly, the significant silences and the stunning absences throughout Morrison's texts become profoundly political as well as stylistically crucial. Morrison describes her own work as containing "holes and spaces so the reader can come into it" (Tate 125), testament to her rejection of theories that privilege j the author over the reader. Morrison disdains such hierarchies in which the reader as participant in the text is ignored: "My writing expects, demands participatory reading, and I think that is what literature is supposed to do....   [tags: Song Solomon Toni Morrison essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1580 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Song of Solomon: The Names of a Society - Song of Solomon: The Names of a Society   Think of a time when the black society was still getting used to the word freedom and the white society hated the thought of it. The book Song of Solomon, written by Toni Morrison in 1977, takes place in Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. The book emphasizes the racial and social tensions between blacks and whites between the 1930s and the 1960s. The Dead family goes through many phases of self-discovery throughout the story. In an effort to hide his southern, working class roots, Macon Dead, an upper-class northern black businessman tries to insulate his family from the danger and despair of the rank and file blacks with whom he shares the...   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 1160 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Personal Freedom Song of Solomon - Search for Personal Freedom Song of Solomon       Personal freedom is the ability to ignore societal and familial influences to find the true sense of self. Individuals are truly liberated when they are physically, mentally, and spiritually free. The search for personal freedom is exemplified in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. The main protagonist, Milkman achieves personal freedom through attainment of knowledge, by confronting his family, and by overcoming the prejudices of society.   Knowledge is a primary factor in the attainment of personal freedom....   [tags: Song Solomon essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1618 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Transformation in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison Essay -         In Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, the relationships between whites and blacks are a main theme. Throughout the whole novel Morrison adds her own opinions toward the race problems that the characters of Not Doctor Street experience. Poverty is another big issue in the novel and many of the main characters struggle financially. Money becomes a means of escape for many of the characters, especially Milkman and Guitar. For both men their quests for gold leaves them empty handed, but their personalities changed....   [tags: Song of Solomon Toni Morrison]
:: 2 Works Cited
2033 words
(5.8 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Free Song of Solomon Essays: Milkman's Search for Self - Milkman's Search for Self in Song of Solomon Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is the story of Milkman's search for self. Milkman appears destined for a life of isolation and self-alienation. The Deads exemplify the patriarchal, nuclear family that has been a stable and critical feature of American society. The family is the institution for producing children, maintaining them, and providing individuals with the means to understand their place in the world order. But this nuclear patriarchal family creates many of the problems it should be solving....   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 1288 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Song of Solomon Essays: Biblical References - Biblical References in "Song of Solomon" Under the recorded names were other names, just as ‘Macon Dead,’ recorded for all time in some dusty file, hid from view the real names of people, places, and things. Names that 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. - Song of Solomon Hagar- Sarah’s Egyptian maid. God had promised Sarah and Abraham many children, however they remained childless....   [tags: Song Solomon essays] 1019 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on the American Dream Revised in Song of Solomon - The American Dream Revised in Song of Solomon      America was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." However, a question must be posed which asks who constitutes "men" and what is "equal"?  Africans were taken from their country and enslaved in America. They had to fight to retain dignity and grace in circumstances that were deplorable. Even slaves who were well taken care of were not able to realize the dream of being free again.   In her work, Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison relates a story of the dream of Milkman.  Although he is not a slave, Milkman is enslaved by the fact that as a child, he was forced to participate in a shameful act that he wanted no part of....   [tags: Song Solomon essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1117 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong 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]
Minorities in Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon Essay - Minorities within Minorities in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon        In a study about minorities, the groups that are differing from the dominant culture are seen as homogeneous. But, if we look deeper into the groups, we can see that there are distinctions among the minorities concerning lifestyle and social status. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon the authors gave some examples in the background of their stories that shows people with differential identities of the general identity of the minorities....   [tags: Song Solomon essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1959 words
(5.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Milkman grew up thinking that his father was a cold-hearted, hot tempered control freak who was only interested in gaining money and property. He came to realize that although there was some truth to what he thought, Macon was not inhuman. This is displayed in the passage when it states, ³His own father¹s words came back to him:

 ŒI worked right alongside my father. Right alongside him.²

Even though Macon was against Milkman¹s birth, he came to cherish his only son in his own way. Probably under the impression that showing affection was a sign of a weak man, Macon held back what feelings he had for his son.

 

Milkman¹s feelings about his father¹s shows of affection are described when Morrison writes,

 ³Milkman thought then that his father was boasting of his manliness as a child. Now he knew he had been saying something else.²

 

 One of the few good memories that Macon had of his father was spending time working alongside his father. Milkman finally figured out that Macon¹s description of his time spent working with his father were meant to as a show of affection for Milkman and to cause Milkman to see the similarities between Macon¹s relationship with his father and Milkman¹s relationship with Macon. Milkman¹s revelation is explained,

³That he loved his father; had an intimate relationship with him; that his father loved him, trusted him, and found him worthy of working Œright alongside¹ him.²

He most likely remembers gaining a great amount of respect for his father by learning and watching how his father made a living. Milkman now saw that all those times that he spent with Macon down in the workshop and being taught how to run a business were his father¹s mild way of showing love.

 

When Macon would tell Milkman about how he worked right alongside his father, he wasn¹t bragging about how masculine he was when he was little, he was attempting to describe the only real time he ever had an intimate relationship with his father. Macon shared what he had with his father with his son. Milkman now realized that there was some substance to his relationship with his father and that it wasn¹t completely disfunctional.

 

It is not clear whether Toni Morrison intended this part of the storyline to fit an archetype, but no matter what she intended, it does. It is the common story of two related characters who never really appreciate each other, or do appreciate each other but separate and never really discover the true value of their relationship with the other character until it is too late can be found in this book.


Return to 123HelpMe.com