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Essay/Term paper: Song of solomon

Essay, term paper, research paper:  English Papers

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on English Papers: Song Of Solomon, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

The novel Song of Solomon has several recurring themes,

including that of sexuality. Morrison effectively

demonstrates these sexual themes relating to both sexes.

Unlike in her other novels, both the men and women are

"searching for love, for valid sexual encounters, and above

all, for a sense that they are worthy."(Bakerman 318) While

Song of Solomon gives men a more prominent place, Morrison

also shows the desires of women to break away from

established society and to create an individualistic life.

Pilate is one of the most apparent characters in her

journey to explore her sexuality and womanhood. She is

portrayed by Morrison as a strong and a somewhat rebellious

woman. She establishes something extraordinary during that

time, economic independence. In the process "she rejects the

traditional image of woman by cutting off her hair...and

wearing clothes functional to her way of life."(Mickelson

316) Even though this is all true, Morrison never lets us

forget that Pilate is a woman planted in the reality of

black society. Ruth also yearns to escape the shackles that

hold her down as a married woman. In the opening scenes of

the novel, Ruth shows us her trivial concerns dealing with a

stain on the table. Ruth "... talked endlessly to her

daughters and her guests about how to get rid of it - what

might hide this single flaw on the splendid wood...She had

tried them all." (Morrison 11) As insignificant as they

were, these were Ruth"s concerns. Yet the stain has a deeper

meaning symbolizing the scar that Ruth has, but fervently

attempts to cover up, from her married life. We learn that

Her husband never loved her and they haven"t been intimate

in years. "When Ruth was naked and lying there as moist and

crumbly as unbleached sugar, he bent to unlace her shoes.

That was the final delight, for once he had undressed her

feet, had peeled her stockings down over her ankles and

toes, he entered her and ejaculated quickly. She liked it

that way. So did he. And in almost twenty years during which

he had not laid eyes on her naked feet, he missed only the

underwear." (Morrison 16) As she dealt with the rejection of

her husband, Ruth searched for sexual satisfaction

elsewhere, eventually turning to her son, Milkman. "He was

too young to be dazzled by her nipples, but he was old

enough to be bored by the flat taste of mother"s milk, so he

came reluctantly, as to a chore, and lay as he had at least

once each day of his life in his mother"s arms, and tried to

pull the thin, faintly sweet milk from her flesh without

hurting her with his teeth." (Morrison 13) Ruth recognized

that the breastfeeding was wrong, but let her desire cloud

her better judgement. Milkman is used as a pleasure toy

until the abuse is discovered. Ruth is once again left in a

state of sexual deprivation.

Most novels deal only with women and revolutions but

Morrison "...deals not only with the woman who breaks away

from the established society...but with the black man who

yearns to fly..." Milkman is avidly searching for a woman

and a sense of security, and as opposed to the women, his

search is surprisingly successful. The audience never

questions Milkman"s ability to love, yet we see the problems

he has recognizing it. Hagar, who was only considered a

"lady friend", was an important individual in Milkman"s

life. They had an indescribable bond, yet they never pursued

a relationship beyond a physical one. "Everybody who knew

him knew about Hagar, but she was considered his private

honey pot, not a real or legitimate girlfriend- not someone

he might marry." (Morrison 91) Not until he meets Sweet,

does he learn about love and passion. The relationship that

the two develop is both sexually and emotionally fulfilling.

Here he learns that love is a mutual feeling necessary for a

healthy relationship. Guitar on the other hand is guided by

a different type of love, a love for the black race. He is

so devoted to the black cause, he turns violent, randomly

murdering whites. This love is driven by the void created

when his father died and although Guitar"s love sharply

contrasts that of Milkman, they both use love to fill a gap

in their life.

Song of Solomon uses sexual themes to explain a search

on which every character embarked. Milkman, Pilate, Ruth,

and Guitar, among others, are looking for love and sex to

take the place of all that is missing in their lives. Sex is

used as a solution to such various problems as loneliness

and insecurity. We learn through this novel that sex and

love are individually complex yet somehow always connected.

Topics including flight, sexuality, and religion are

discussed throughout the entire book. Morrison subtly

conveys different lessons and morals with these themes

through names, symbols, etc. Ultimately, this novel deals

with initiation and exploration in society. She combines

these subjects with the conditions of blacks in society to

create a story of people and their trials in life.


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