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Song of Solomon Commentary

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Introduction

The Flight of a Strong Woman Marieke Chattargoon In Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon there are many different creative aspects throughout it. There is the theme of flying as an escape, physically and metaphorically. And, there is the character of Pilate, who represents a strong independent woman, and a role model to the main protagonist in the book, Milkman Dead. These main aspects of the book are summed up in the last two pages, page 336 and 337. As Pilate is dying in the eyes, she says some of the most inspirational words throughout the whole novel. In this final chapter of Song of Solomon the most inspirational character dies. Pilate takes a bullet, meant for Milkman, and as she lies dying in his arms she says one of the most inspirational quotes throughout this novel. "I wish I'd a knowed more people. I would of loved 'em all. If I'd a knowed more, I would a loved more." ...read more.

Middle

When she dies, Milkman lays her head down on a rock, and then, "Two of the birds circled round them. One dived into the new grave and scooped something shiny in its beak before it flew away." (pg 336) This quote shows that as soon as Pilate is dead, the birds take off, this may represent the freeing of Pilate's soul, and how now through death she is freed of all her burdens and struggles and she is free. After this, Milkman makes a vital discovery. As the birds are flying away, Milkman realises why he loved Pilate so much. "Without ever leaving the ground, she could fly." It becomes known to him that in truth, she was spiritually and mentally free, and that only her body left her on the ground. Flying throughout the novel is an ongoing theme. In the first chapter Robert Smith, an agent of an insurance company, attempts to fly. He stands on the edge of a building with blue silk wings as Pilate sings the song of the sugarman, and he jumps. "Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Either way, Milkman has been deeply affected by the idea of flight that has been present throughout his life. In this last chapter of Song of Solomon, the two most important things in Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon are in the last two pages (336-337.) In these last pages, Pilate, who is a role model for Milkman, dies in his arms as he sings the song that she sang at the beginning of the novel. As she slips away, birds fly around them and then away, symbolizing the release of Pilate's soul. After that Milkman hurls himself off a rock and towards Guitar, either recreating the suicide at the beginning of the novel, or throwing himself into the air and trusting it for the first time, finally realising that you did not have to be able to physically fly, to soar the skies metaphorically and let your soul be free. In these last chapters the main character, Pilate, becomes a main focus and icon, for she truly becomes the strong woman, who tamed the air, and it is her death which really gives Milkman that final missing puzzle piece and sums up the novel. ...read more.

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