Tony Morrison's "Song of Solomon" which is classified …

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Toni Morrison - Song of Solomon - Angelfire

Toni Morrison - Song of Solomon

Biblical Names in SONG OF SOLOMON - The Reading …

Tony Morrison put a lot of emphasis into the characters' names in Song of Solomon. I think one has to first consider the main characters' last name of "Dead." The first man in the family that was named Dead ended up being murdered. Macon, Jr. saw this murder and because of it was emotionally "dead." He grew up not enjoying life and only cared about becoming rich and getting ahead in life. His son, Milkman, has a "dead" personality growing up because of the influence of his parents. Proof of this is in the scene when Milkman urinates on his sister and doesn't even realize it. He also has a sexual and somewhat emotional relationship with Hagar, which he carelessly breaks off, devastating her. He is emotionally dead and is not thinking about anyone else in the world besides himself. The name Milkman was give to him because he was breast-fed by his mother until a very old age and this name is mocking him and his mother for this absurd. Milkman has the inability to emotionally grow up and Ruth cannot emotionally let go to the time period in which Milkman was a young boy, uncorrupted by the world and his own parents. Morrison's use of biblical names was very interesting to me. I have never read the Bible, nor do I know many of the stories, but I do know that Pilate was a negative character, somewhat responsible for the death of Jesus. I feel as though this name does not suite her character, for she is the one Milkman can count on. It is interesting that Guitar is the name for the boy who is associated with the terroristic group of African Americans in town. Something that usually brings music and joy and happiness to people is having the opposite effect.
I believe that Toni Morrison's use of names has the purpose of causing her readers to really think and understand the characters she created. They obviously meant a great deal to her and she just wants her readers to get a similar understanding, or any understanding out of them at all.

Biblical Names in SONG OF SOLOMON

What is the importance of names in Song of Solomon you might ask. Yes this is a good question I would respond, and then I would sit there and ponder while you become impatient. Then this you, which may be anyone depending on who reads this, would say something along the lines of hurry up and tell me what the importance of names is. And then I would finally say that the importance of names is the understanding of how the community shapes who we are through its power of judgements and how it impacts our daily life. Take Pilate for example. She was given the name Pilate essentially at random. And yet the community accepted this name and continued to call her by that very religously charged name. And why is that we must ask? It is essentialyl because Pilate fits in with the desription of Pilate, or at least someone named Pilate. She is apart from rest of the community, and so her name fits as a part of her othering. The other question that must be asked is whether or not her name causes her othering, or whether it is accepted as part of the othering.
This piece would like to put forth the idea that the name is accepted rather than forcing the individual into it, as can be seen by the renaming that the community engaged in with Milkman Dead. Milkman was originally named Macon Dead, but the community did not force him into becoming a mirror image of his father, but rather chose to rename him in order to better suit his personal past and happenings. Thus we are left the firm idea of the community shaping the name to fit the individual rather than the community shaping the individual to fit the name he or she was born with.

tagged Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon and Naming - Waves and Radiation: …

Toni Morrison keeps her characters and her story interesting by choosing names that make the reader think. The analysis of the names in the story gives insight into the characters, for the most part. For instance, Milkman Dead received his nickname because he relied on his mother's breast milk for much longer than the average child. His nickname is shameful, and his father is disgraced when he finally understands the nickname, but it gives insight into his character. Aside from Milkman, most of Morrison's characters are named after people in the Bible. Pilate, Magdalene, and First Corinthians are all Biblical references. Pilate is a reference to Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate turned Jesus over to the crowd to be crucified and "washed his hands" of the trial. While one would assume the character of Pilate in Song of Solomon would follow this tradition, Pilate actually protects her family consistently in the novel. In this case, Pilate's name gives her a bad reputation based on the connotation of the name in the Bible, but Morrison makes it a point to change Pilate's character traits in her novel to oppose those of Pilate in the Bible. I think that Morrison uses so many Biblical names in Song of Solomon to frame her story and her characters. Using names that are well known allows her to give her characters either similar traits to the Biblical people or to change the connotation of the Biblical names to mean something new. Toni Morrison's characters may become the typical way people see Pilate, Magdalene, or First Corinthians and maybe that was Morrison's intention. I guess next time Toni Morrison strolls into State College I will have to ask her why she chose the names she did in Song of Solomon. Until then, it is my best guess!

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He attempts to imitate or represent the stirring emotions of that story by creating a stirring song that has the same effect; thus, the famous "The William Tell Overture" results.

Language Beyond Metaphor: The Structural Symbolism …