Song of Solomon Commentary

Essay by surajshekar97High School, 11th gradeB+, October 2014

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Shekar 1

Suraj Shekar

Mrs. Bostic

IB1 Literature 4B

6 November 2013

Symbols of Material Wealth in Song of Solomon

The novel Song of Solomon expresses the ideas of racism, exploration, and class distinction as author Toni Morrison weaves together the complex story of Milkman Dead. He is brought up by what is portrayed as a family with a scarred past, and travels along the pathways of its consequences. Through his journey, Morrison tends to assign certain reoccurring ideas in the form of symbols in her story as she developed her unique writing style with the progression of the components of the story. The novel, Song of Solomon, portrays the idea of how material wealth barriers one from their family and brings about a loss of identity, as Morrison expertly incorporates specific symbols along the story to bring this theme to life.

Toni Morrison's stylistic technique of incorporating symbols into the story to progress her theme is well exemplified with the incorporation of her use of houses as a material wealth.

There are two major types of houses assigned with certain characters, large and lavish, or small and poor. Morrison assigns the large and lavish houses to Ruth Foster and Macon Dead. Ruth lives in such a large home and describes it as a major status symbol, as the Doctor had made a great deal of money and purchased the house. Though this house contains a higher status and a luxurious lifestyle, it contains a lack of self-understanding and emptiness, which makes the inhabitants sorrowful as Ruth explains, "I lived into a great big house that pressed me into a small package" (124). Ruth's living in such a house made her feel very small and insignificant, as she could not understand whom she really was. This lack...