Materialism In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon For Giggles

1338 Words 6 Pages
A pure white peacock is not exactly subtle metaphor, but it is certainly a memorable one. Which is suitable considering Toni Morrison did not write it into Song of Solomon for giggles. The white peacock represents how materialism prevents flight, or more accurately freedom.This theme is more thoroughly elaborated on with Milkman’s development, as demonstrated by what happened after his first attempt to steal gold. Due to a chance detail Milkman shared with his father, a mad story about a murder and stolen gold was revealed. With Macon II convinced that Pilate has the gold, he ordered his son, he, in turn, recruited Guitar, to steal the gold. Upon Milkman and Guitar’s attempted getaway they were stopped by the police, where they were forced …show more content…
As a child, the wealth of his family isolated Milkman from other children. Expensive clothes marked him as different, which is more than enough cause for being shunned by children (Morrison 264). It was only through disguising his family’s wealth that Milkman was able to be accepted even a small amount.The greed of those around Milkman not only isolated him, but also prevented him from developing a complete identity. Milkman’s entire life, even the act of his conception, was ruled and manipulated by others’ desires and expectations. To his mother, he was only ever a pleasure or an act of revenge against Macon II and nothing resembling a person (133). Macon II only viewed Milkman as a way to carry his own dreams and perceived greatness. He forces his career onto Milkman without any consideration to Milkman’s dreams and used his influence to keep Milkman’s behavior in line with Macon II’s views of acceptable. Morrison also illustrates Milkman’s lack of identity through his appearance. Milkman is described as having incohesive features, uneven legs, and generally seeming to be not yet a true man, even when Milkman reached age thirty (69). Milkman does not appear to be a complete man, because he literally is not. It is only when he begins to let go of his materialism that Milkman is able to become a whole person and gain the control to run his own …show more content…
“Maybe all he was really saying was: I am not responsible for your pain; share your happiness with me but not your unhappiness.”(277) He only ever felt like he deserved love and affection, never any complicated emotions. Becoming a complete person allowed Milkman to see the world as it truly was, not just through a biased lens. He became able to recognize the wrongs he had done as well as the fact that he needed to take responsibility for them. Just as Pilate had carried the bones of the person she believed she had helped murder, Milkman claimed his greatest mistake. He carried a box of Hagar’s hair, who he had driven to death with his selfish and inconsiderate behavior (334). It is not always a happy reality, but by accepting responsibility for his actions, Milkman gained the power to change his behavior for the better. As a physical representation of Milkman’s completion of identity, his features finally become even. “Now he looked down at his legs. The left one looked just as long as the other.”(209) Milkman finally realized that his legs were the same once he became a complete person. If Milkman had remained obsessed with material wealth, he would have been trapped as an incomplete

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