Essay Song of Solomon

5645 Words Mar 24th, 2016 23 Pages
Jessica Schaub
Eng. 232/Section 03

Song of Solomon: A Bildungsroman of Milkman

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, is a brilliant synthesis of a mythic journey, family drama and story of origin. This is the story of Macon Milkman Dead, heir to the richest black family in a Midwestern town, as he makes a voyage of rediscovery, travelling southwards geographically and inwards spiritually. Morrison’s narrative rendering of the black community along with her protagonist problematic relationship with himself, his family, and that community all lend them-selves to the very definition of a classic bildungsroman tale; though it is so much richer and fuller than anything that word could connote. A bildungsroman can be defined as “a
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Morrison's use of the flight metaphor to the books end the story is brilliant as well. I found the story both entertaining and educational in the sense that I learned about a culture that was very different than my own. The differences were submerged beneath the similarities in relationships of family and friends that were like those of everyone everywhere. For the African American community in the twentieth century, however, Morrison I think is implying that the isolating individualism that erases the memory of the South destroys spiritual and moral identity.
Milkman is indeed naive about himself, his family, and his community, but the very nature of the knowledge he acquires marks Song of Solomon as a different kind of story. Like the traditional American pioneer, he must recognize his own capacity for evil, but the knowledge of his family's past and his place in a community that evolved from that past enables Milkman. His journey into an African American South strips him of superficial external moorings and submerges him in the communal and spiritual culture of his larger family. With his initiation, Milkman moves from a passive, irresponsible ignorance to an active, authentic, and liberating participation in the corporate life of black community.
The American South is crucial to this narrative of healing,

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