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Published: 29-10-2019

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Song of Solomon and Gold's Metaphor

Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, explores how each and every character searches for one thing, and the novel examines the ways in which they cope when they cannot locate it. In the novel, many of the characters are trapped by their materialistic desires. The need to fulfill those desires erodes their souls, generating them bitter. For some of these characters, their wants and demands are in the type of gold. Song of Solomon examines the human condition of becoming physically, spiritually, and financially trapped through the classic symbol of want, gold.

The protagonist, Milkman, is trapped physically and mentally. He feels as though his life has no which means, and that if he could leave his predicament on Not Medical professional Street, he could be satisfied. From the time he was tiny, Milkman wanted freedom and escape from his life, or to “fly away.” He becomes sad and isolated from his buddies and later, isolated from his loved ones. He feels as although his future is defined by the events of his previous and is consistently troubled by other people’s issues. He believes that he has carried out practically nothing to deserve the burden of the information that individuals have offered him and is also far inside himself to appreciate the really like that his loved ones members offer him. His wish to escape his life is shown when Morrison says “He wanted the money – desperately, he believed – but other than generating tracks out of the city, far away from Not Medical professional Street, Sonny’s Shop, and Mary’s Spot, and Hagar, he could not visualize a life that significantly distinct from the a single he had. New People. New Places. Command. That was all he wanted in his life” (179, 180). Milkman lastly finds an opportunity to escape his life through his aunt Pilate’s gold.

For Milkman, the gold represents what he has constantly preferred, freedom and flight. This is shown when Morrison describes Milkman and Guitar’s first encounter with what they thought was gold: “They both saw it [the sack of gold] at the very same time. It hung heavy, hung green like the green of Easter eggs left too lengthy in the dye. And like Easter, it promised every little thing: the Risen Son and the heart’s lone desire” (185). The idea of fulfilling this craving and achieving happiness tends to make Milkman selfish and cruel, causing him to betray his loving aunt by robbing her. When he discovers that Pilate does not have the gold, he goes on a journey to locate it where he finds himself along the way. Following gaining a sense of identity, the journey becomes a lot more about freeing himself mentally than finding the gold and escaping physically. He has an epiphany exactly where he is overcome with happiness and realizes that he no longer desires escape from his family’s troubles or his life, and in the identical way, offers up on locating the gold. This is described by Morrison’s quote, “[H]e felt a sudden rush of affection for them all… Apparently he believed he deserved only to be loved – from a distance, even though – and provided what he wanted… Perhaps all he was really saying was: I am not accountable for your discomfort, share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness” (278). At the end of the novel, Milkman by no means finds the gold, but gains a new identity when he realizes that the freedom gold can bring him is not worth the betrayal necessary to acquire it. Milkman’s experience supports gold’s symbolism for a worldly desires due to the fact his want for gold disappears just as his search for happiness ends. When he gives up what weighs him down, he finally is able to fly. Nonetheless, other characters are not as fortunate as Milkman is in abandoning the worldly desires that trap them.

Guitar, Milkman’s greatest buddy increasing up, is strapped financially. He lives in poverty in the South Side of the city and desires so badly to escape and to live a a lot more affluent life. He compares himself to wealthy white individuals who murder innocent African-Americans, and cannot comprehend how his scenario is fair. He says “[E]verybody wants the life of a black man… Fair is one a lot more point I’ve offered up” (Morrison 222, 224). These internal and external conflicts eat away at him, and he sees no other way to cope than to turn out to be a murderer. Like Milkman, he sees gold as an chance to free himself by means of the wealth it can bring him. This is shown when Morrison writes “…he [Milkman] wondered if Guitar just could not resist the lure of one thing he had by no means had-money” (180). He speaks to Milkman about all the items gold can purchase him, not realizing that the gold will lead him to attack his ideal friend. His viewpoint is ironic simply because as soon as, whilst giving Milkman advice, he says ”[A]ll that jewelry weighs it [the peacock[ down… Can’t nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down” (179). His viewpoint shows that, like the peacock’s tail, materialistic desires weigh down your soul, and you must give them up in order to be free of charge. This contradicts his obsession with wealth, which in the end weighs him down to the point of committing murder and betrayal. When Milkman provides up on discovering the gold, Guitar continues. In the end, Guitar remains trapped by his greed and obsession with bettering his life financially by means of the gold, which comes to a head when he kills Pilate.

Macon Dead, Milkman’s father, is a slave to his want for house and power, generating him spiritually trapped. A humble farm boy turned-wealthy realtor, he is bitter about his previous. Soon after witnessing his father’s murder as a boy, he runs away exactly where he finds gold, starting his desire for wealth and power that final for the rest of his life. “Gold… Life, security, and luxury fanned out before him like the tail-spread of a peacock, and as he stood there trying to distinguish each scrumptious color, he saw the dusty boots of his father standing just on the other side of the shallow pit… Pilate darted about the cave calling him, looking for him, although Macon piled the sacks of gold into the tarpaulin” (170, 171), describes his transformation from a humble farm boy to a money-hungry man trapped by his craving for house and prosperity. As the quote describes, Macon is indifferent to the ghost of his father whom he claimed to care so considerably about. While he believes that wealth will be the answer to all of his difficulties, it truly isolates him from his family and the folks who adore him. The traumatic occasion of his father’s murder changed him, as Morrison describes what she writes “[T]he numbness that had settled on him when he saw the man he loved and admired fall off the fence something wild ran via him when he watched the physique twitching in the dirt” (50, 51). This, combined with his desire for income, rejection by his wife’s father, and later, witnessing his wife kiss her father’s dead fingers, turns Macon into a cold, heartless, and broken man. He is trapped by his sadness, anger, and hunger for power, generating him spiritually disconnected from enjoy, his family members, and immaterial items in life. When the possibility of getting gold resurfaces, he is naturally drawn in and gets behind the scheme of robbing his own sister, Pilate. The prosperity that gold could bring him is just another type of psychological imprisonment for Macon, pushing him farther from his sister and from love. His want for gold is stronger than his want for enjoy, household, and loyalty, displaying gold’s symbolism for desire.

In Song of Solomon, the main characters are trapped by their materialistic desires, which are symbolized by gold. Milkman, Guitar, and Macon, each and every see gold as a way to fulfil aspects of their lives that are missing. Gold’s symbolism for worldly desires is constant with the reality that Pilate had no interest in the gold when she in Macon identified it. Alternatively, she took her father’s bones with her, showing that she cares much more about spiritual value than she does about materialistic value. This reinforces gold’s symbolism for acquisitive desires since Pilate does not chase the gold the 3 guys each and every have various materialistic desires, so they do pursue the gold. The wealth that comes from the gold is a temptation for the males because it appears like a answer every of their difficulties and an finish to their longings. Even so, their attempts to retrieve the gold push them closer into deception and farther away from their loved ones, until Guitar becomes a murderer and Macon becomes cold and dead (hence his final name). In the finish, Milkman is the only 1 of the three that abandons his want for “gold” and realizes the accurate value of the folks in his life and of himself.
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