The Journey of Milkman Dead to Find his Identity in Song of Solomon, a Novel by Toni Morrison

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Milkman Gone Splat! An Analysis of the Final Scene in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon follows the life of Milkman Dead as well as his odyssey in the direction of discovering his real identification as well as finding the background of his forefathers. The look for identification is one of the essential motifs in Song of Solomon, as it ends up being very crucial for Milkman to experience a complicated journey in order to find himself. Along with the search for identity, flight as a way of escape is additionally a persisting style throughout the book. Via making use of magic realism, Morrison develops a world that parallels fact, however at the same time, adds magic elements to the world, making the flight of people appear all-natural. In the tale, Milkman learns that his great-grandfather Solomon flew back to Africa to leave the predicament of enslavement and obtain liberty, which influences Milkman to do the exact same at the end of guide. After understanding his quest for his identity is complete, Milkman decides to leap as well as “fly” with the air. In the last scene of Song of Solomon, Milkman accomplishments in regards to discovering his authentic self and also attaining liberty, but inevitably passes away. Morrison provides the story with considerable flows that not only foreshadow Milkman’s fatality, however additionally structures her book in a way that makes Milkman’s death the most rational finishing.

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Toni Morrison finishes Song of Solomon with a scene where Milkman asks his pal as well as opponent Guitar whether he wants his life, which links back to a discussion that Milkman and also Guitar had in Chapter 10 about life and death. This discussion between Milkman and also Guitar, which could be taken for given, in fact provides a lot of foreshadowing to the events that comply with the discussion. In phase 10, Guitar tells Milkman that “everyone wants the life of a black male,” yet thinks that every guy can picked something to crave (Morrison 223). Milkman initially disagrees with Guitar, thinking that “no one can select what to die for,” however, in the last scene, Milkman submits to Guitar’s theory by allowing Guitar have his life and selecting what to die for (223 ). By making Milkman’s last words be a deal for Guitar to take his life, Morrison shows how the two parts of the book are connected. Via this connection, Morrison suggests that Milkman passes away at the end with his attempt to fly, however certainly chooses what to need as well as does so willingly, as he dies with a feeling of fulfillment after understanding his odyssey is complete. In the last scene of the unique, Toni Morrison defines Pilate’s death as a procedure of freedom as she “flies” away, which recommends that Milkman additionally accomplishes liberty with his death. In the final scene at Solomon’s Leap, when Milkman as well as his aunt Pilate hide Pilate’s papa’s bones, Guitar appears to kill both of them. The last scene entails Guitar killing Pilate, but instead of describing her death in a damaging way, Morrison compares her fatality to the procedure of freedom as well as flight. For comparison, in Chapter 13, Morrison defines Hagar’s fatality in a lot more devastating way than the death of Pilate. Morrison selects to define Pilate’s death in a rather comforting manner that offers hope and also relief. When explaining Pilate’s fatality, Morrison declares that “without ever leaving the ground, [Pilate] might fly,” as some bird “scooped something glossy in its beak prior to it flew away” (336 ). As an icon for her heart flying away when she passes away, Morrison shows how Pilate accomplishes individual liberty through her fatality. Milkman’s flight in the end can be analyzed the same way. With Milkman’s search for his real identity full, similar to Pilate, he attains his individual through fatality. Milkman does attempt to fly, but only accomplishes individual liberty when he dies in the last phase.

In Chapter 12, when Milkman has his desire about flying, Toni Morrison defines his desire in a way that not just foreshadows the ending, but also recommends that Milkman’s “trip” is extra similar to fatality than literal flight. In among the final phases of guide, Milkman has a “cozy wonderful sleep all about flying,” where he “float [s], “cruis [es], in the kicked back setting of a man resting on a couch checking out a newspaper.” Milkman really feels as though he is “alone overhead, but crave (223 ). By making Milkman’s last words be a deal for Guitar to take his life, Morrison demonstrates how the two parts of guide are connected. Via this connection, Morrison implies that Milkman dies at the end with his effort to fly, but certainly picks what to need as well as does so willingly, as he dies with a sensation of fulfillment after understanding his odyssey is full. In the last scene of the novel, Toni Morrison defines Pilate’s death as a process of freedom as she “flies” away, which recommends that Milkman likewise accomplishes freedom through his fatality. In the last scene at Solomon’s Leap, when Milkman and also his auntie Pilate bury Pilate’s dad’s bones, Guitar shows up to kill both of them. The last scene involves Guitar killing Pilate, yet rather than explaining her fatality in a damaging fashion, Morrison compares her death to the process of liberation as well as trip. For contrast, in Chapter 13, Morrison explains Hagar’s fatality in a much more devastating way than the fatality of Pilate. Morrison selects to describe Pilate’s fatality in a rather calming fashion that offers hope and also alleviation. When explaining Pilate’s fatality, Morrison declares that “without ever leaving the ground, [Pilate] could fly,” as some bird “scooped something glossy in its beak before it flew away” (336 ). As a symbol for her spirit flying away when she passes away, Morrison demonstrates how Pilate accomplishes personal flexibility with her fatality. Milkman’s trip ultimately can be interpreted the same way. With Milkman’s search for his real identity full, comparable to Pilate, he attains his individual through fatality. Milkman does try to fly, however only achieves personal liberty when he dies in the last phase.

In Chapter 12, when Milkman has his desire about flying, Toni Morrison explains his dream in such a way that not just foreshadows the ending, yet likewise suggests that Milkman’s “trip” is a lot more comparable to death than actual trip. In one of the last phases of the book, Milkman has a “warm fanciful rest everything about flying,” where he “float [s], “cruis [es], in the loosened up position of a male lying on a sofa checking out a newspaper.” Milkman feels as though he is “alone overhead, however the novel as a life process, by beginning with Mr. Smith’s fell short attempt to fly, following it with Milkman’s extended mission to find himself, as well as ultimately, his success with discovering himself at the end. Morrison reveals that one of the most logical finishing to this life process of Milkman would be his eventual fatality. Even in a globe where flight is possible for humans, the framework of the unique suggests that in the final scene of Song of Solomon, Milkman completes his rite of passage right into their adult years, however passes away, making the novel end as well as begin with a failed effort to fly.

By intentionally leaving the finale of Song Solomon uncertain, Toni Morrison creates a variety of different opportunities wherefore in fact takes place. Although, some people will say that Milkman does fly in the long run, and also some will declare that he passed away; in the end, it does not issue. Morrison makes the ending unclear to show that the journey matters more than the end-result, as it is unimportant whether Milkman passes away or not. Morrison does not desire the focus of the novel to be the ending scene, as she thinks that Milkman’s endless struggle to locate his genuine identification, which leads him to the sensation of satisfaction at the end of the unique, is the most important aspect of guide. In Wilfred D. Samuels’s essay Toni Morrison, he deals with the meaning of flight in Song Solomon, even pricing quote Morrison about what she needs to state concerning the questionable last scene. In his essay, he discusses exactly how Morrison herself claims that no matter whether Milkman flew and also the accomplishment or catastrophe that follow his trip, what matters one of the most is how Milkman concerned that stage. According to Morrison, Milkman’s “willingness to end up being remarkable [and] to take the jump” is one of the most important feature of the ending (Samuels 70). By keeping the ending uncertain and making Song of Solomon concentrate extra on the Milkman’s mission instead of his trip, Toni Morrison shows that for any kind of bildungsroman, the initiation rite issues more than the result.

Works Cited

  • Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. Vintage, 2004.
  • Samuels, Wilfred D., and Clenora Hudson-Weems. Toni Morrison. Twayne Publishers, 1990
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The Journey of Milkman Dead to Find His Identity in Song of Solomon, a Novel by Toni Morrison. (2022, Dec 07). Retrieved February 4, 2023 , from
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