Essay Example on In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon the character Milkman








In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon the character Milkman goes through many changes and realizations Up until he reached his thirties most considered him to be selfish and egocentric Until he reached adulthood he was spoiled by the women in his family because he is male and the youngest He is considered wealthy compared to other people he lives around In the novel we see Milkman journey in finding his identity and what he see as the true meaning of life Although at the beginning of the novel we see Milkman s lack of interest in life and the important things like culture his strong love for materialism mostly inherited from his father and his lack of consideration for women shown in the way he treats them in the novel Towards the end of the novel while trying to find the gold Milkman takes an interest in where he and his ancestors come from he also starts to see his purpose in life and shows less of an interest in materialistic things he also develops a brief relationship with Sweet where we see that it is very different from his relationship with Hagar At the beginning of the novel it is clear that Milkman takes no interest in what many will perceive as the important things in life he cares more about materialistic things and how people look at him You can see this in chapter one when Milkman is looking in the mirror he starts to want to look for his identity

Milkman stood before his mirror and glanced in the low light of the wall lamp at his reflection He was as usual unimpressed with what he saw He had a fine enough face Eyes women complimented him on a firm jaw line splendid teeth Taken apart it looked alright Even better than all right But it lacked coherence a coming together of the features into a total self It was all very tentative the way he looked like a man peeking around a corner of someplace he is not supposed to be trying to make up his mind whether to go forward or to turn back The decision he made would be extremely important but the way in which he made the decision would be careless haphazard and uninformed Song of Solomon pg 69 Milkman thinking this while looking in the mirror shows that Milkman have not come to peace with his true self He realizes that his features does not come together With this realization of himself Milkman starts to want to find his true self He finds it later in the story when he goes on a quest to find gold After a series of mishaps and coincidences he finds himself on a spiritual quest for his identity We see Milkman describing his new self in the book But Guitar believed it gave it a crisp concreteness and what's more made it into an act an important real and daring thing to do He felt a self inside himself emerge a clean lined definite self A self that could join the chorus at Railroad Tommy s with more than laughter Song of Solomon 183 Milkman describing his new self is showing that he is making progress with finding his identity

Throughout the book you see Milkman go from no really knowing who he is to being happy and finding his true self he is being more self aware Milkman takes an interest in where his ancestors are from While looking for the gold Milkman learns about his family's past When he was in Pennsylvania he lost his possessions which made him come to the realization that it is more to life than materialistic things From the things he learns in Pennsylvania he believes that the gold is in Virginia While searching for gold Milkman learns that he has a family history in the town of Shalimar While in Shalimar Milkman feels a sense of belonging something he doesn't feel in his hometown This made Milkman want to learn more about his family s history In the beginning of the novel Milkman could care less about his family s history but after taking the time to learn he realizes that his family history means a lot to him and that it is important to find his own people Milkman also changes in the way he values women Although this is a small change it is very significant in him finding his identity In Milkman's relationship with Hagar he disregards her feelings and emotions

 This is shown in the last time Hagar wants to kill Milkman When Hagar hesitate in killing Milkman he tells her to kill herself and says Why don't you do that Then all your problems will be over Song of Solomon pg 130 After finding his identity it is a shift in his behavior with women Milkman becomes involved with a girl named Sweets and while with her in Shalimar Milkman finally learns how to show affection towards women In the beginning of the book Milkman's relationship with Hagar showed his disrespect for women but after he found his new identity he showed affection with Sweets Throughout the novel Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison the character Milkman showed great change In the beginning of the book he was a selfish egocentric individual who only cares about himself and his materialistic items He then goes on a quest to find gold and when things don't go exactly as planned he winds up getting more valuable than gold He finds his new identity that he is happy with He learns of his family s rich background And he shows improvement with his behavior with women Although Milkman seems like a bad person in the beginning of the novel he develops into a decent person when he finds his identity

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