Time in Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon".

Essay by jackkellyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2003

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The history of Black America is one that has been stolen, lost and largely forgotten over the past two centuries. Through slavery and more recently the Apartheid-like era of Jim Crow laws, black history has been clouded over with oppression and hatred. Toni Morison's Song of Solomon is an attempt to explore the muddled path of history through the confused life of Milkman Dead. Morrison places Milkman in a world full of characters that are looking toward the future and leaves him to ponder his past. Soon, it is apparent that Milkman is flowing against the tide; his future lies not in front of him, but instead in the history of his people. In a world of characters seeking wealth and retribution, Milkman seeks personal fulfillment. His future, his search to understand his heritage is one that will always link him to his past. In Milkman's journey, he himself is the embodiment of the past, and the past lives silently in the present, while at the same time it is in a constant stage of change and decay.

Morrison places Milkman in a world that is obsessed with looking to the future. The future is what is at hand, and future is where dreams lie. His father, Macon Dead, is passionate about the future. Macon is constantly searching for more ways to squeeze money out of real estate. He has forgotten his past, his black heritage, and is striving for riches. His goal is to earn as much money as he can, and thus reach the epitome of whiteness - wealth and well-being.

Milkman's concentration on things past first conflicts with his fathers search for future wealth during their trip to Honoré. The only place that Milkman could sit was in the front seat between his parents, and...