Born in Michigan in by miraculous means, Milkman is a gifted child until he learns at the age of four that humans cannot fly.
Plot summary[ edit ] Song of Solomon opens with the suicide of Robert Smith, an insurance agent and member of The Seven Days who crafts for himself blue silk wings with which he attempts to fly from the top of Mercy Hospital.
Smith's attempt at flight and subsequent death functions as the symbolic heralding of the birth of Macon "Milkman" Dead III.
A crowd of around fifty people gather to watch the attempted flight, including Milkman's mother, Ruth, his two sisters First Corinthians and Magdalene called Lena, his aunt Pilate, and his friend later in life, Guitar. The appearance of Smith on the roof causes Ruth to go into labor.
Given the chaos that follows and the immediate need of the pregnant mother, the hospital admits her and she delivers her son, Macon Dead III—the first African-American child to be born in the hospital.
This scene is also the first instance of Pilate singing her song of "Sugarman," which becomes an important detail in uncovering the mysterious heritage of the Dead family. Smith's blue silk wings must have left their mark, because when the little boy discovered, at four, the same thing Mr.
Smith had learned earlier—that only birds and airplanes could fly—he lost all interest in himself. Also at four-years-old, Macon is given his nickname, Milkman. Functioning as an escape from her repetitive life and loveless marriage and also as a way to feel a mothering connection to her son, Ruth still breastfeeds Milkman.
One day, she is caught in the act by Freddie, one of Macon Dead Jr. As for given names, Milkman's follows his paternal familial tradition with first sons being named after their fathers. The reader comes to find that the name Macon Dead, is actually a clerical error made by a white man when recording information about Macon Dead Sr.
The reader comes to discover that Macon Dead Sr. The names for Milkman's sisters also follow a paternal tradition. The father points to a random spot in the Bible and the daughter is then given the name that appears wherever the father's finger lands.
Milkman's aunt was named by the same process and is called Pilate. Pilate also follows the tradition with her own daughter Reba who applies the tradition to her daughter Hagar.
Pilate, a bootlegger and quasi witch-woman, becomes a central figure in the novel as Milkman grows through adolescence and into his thirties. Pilate was highly influential in Milkman's birth and conception.
Macon later becomes aware of the deceit and attempts to undermine the child's birth, but is thwarted by a "voodoo" doll that Pilate creates and threatens him with. Travelling up from Pennsylvania, Macon Dead sought to make a life for himself and was successful both in terms of managing real estate and in marrying Ruth, the daughter of the only black doctor in town.
But Macon is also estranged from his sister because of their past. Their father, an illiterate farmer, is swindled into giving up his land and is subsequently murdered when he refuses to move. Fleeing, Macon and Pilate as children come across a cave that contains bags of gold.
An old man is asleep in the cave and approaches Macon and Pilate and Macon kills him. Because they killed the man, Pilate will not allow Macon to take the gold, claiming that it would be stealing and that they would be in enough trouble for killing the white man.
Consequently, Macon resents his sister for the missed opportunity at riches. The two siblings parted ways shortly after the incident in the cave. Pilate wanders for a time, working in New York State as a migrant worker and again in Virginiacontinually ousted by the communities for her absence of a navel.
She eventually settles in a community on an island off of the coast of Virginia and there becomes pregnant with her daughter Reba.Themes in Song of Solomon Macon 'Milkman' Dead III, the lead character in Toni Morrison's masterpiece, Song of Solomon, is a hard guy to figure out and an even harder one to love.
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Published in , Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon focuses on the African-American experience in the United States over four generations. The novel examines the legends and folklore that tell the story of slaves who flew off to Africa. Freedom Movement Bibliography.
See also: Books Written by Freedom Movement Veterans Book Titles Grouped by Subject Film, Videos & . Song of Solomon explores the quest for cultural identity.
Based on the African-American folktale about enslaved Africans who escape slavery by flying back to Africa, it tells the story of Macon "Milkman" Dead, a young man alienated from himself and estranged from his family, his community, and his.
Song Analysis: "The Cave" by Mumford & Sons - BACKGROUND West London-based Mumford & Sons is a folk/indie-rock band that favours atypical instrumentation, conjures up a unique sound, and appeals to a wide range of listeners.