Ruth And Pilate In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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At first glance, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon portrays Ruth and Pilate as complete opposites. Morrison describes their differences as, “One black, the other lemony. One corseted, the other buck naked under her dress. One well read but ill traveled. The other had read only a geography book, but had been from one end of the country to another. One wholly dependent on money for life, the other indifferent to it”(139). Nonetheless, Ruth and Pilate are, in many ways, very similar: they often find themselves taking the same side in dilemmas, and they love similar people. An obvious similarity between Ruth and Pilate is their distaste for Macon Dead. Ruth has two main reasons for hating Macon. The first cause for her negative feelings is that throughout the book “[Ruth was] long deprived of sex, long dependent on self-manipulation...”(134). Her other motivation is simply that Macon always criticizes her. The first time we hear of Macon, he is …show more content…
For both of them, he embodies their victory over Macon. Therefore, when Ruth hears that Hagar is trying to kill Milkman, Ruth threatens Hagar by saying, “You are trying to kill him... If you so much as bend a hair on his head, so help me Jesus, I will tear your throat out” (136). This shows us just how much Ruth cares for Milkman. Ruth and Pilate do whatever it takes to keep the ones they care for safe and happy. For example, we see Ruth threatening Hagar in order to keep her son safe. Pilate also demonstrates her willingness to do whatever it takes to keep her loved ones safe. When Pilate hears that Reba’s boyfriend hit Reba, “she whipped her right arm around his neck and positioned the knife at the edge of his heart” (93). Even though we see Pilate is a very calm person, and wants everyone to get along very well, when her daughter is in danger, Pilate does not refrain from hurting others for her daughter’s

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