The Importance Of Identity In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon is an examination of the importance of identity in African-American society and the effects of a name. The use of names and labels are to describe and symbolize people, places, and things, serving as a brief definition of the subject. Toni Morrison uses this definition to analyze the effects redefining or naming had on African-Americans heritage and culture after their emancipation. Forced into slavery, African Americans formed a slave culture, losing knowledge of their African heritage. Slavery’s abolition finally allowed African Americans the right to their own future, and the chance to define their culture and form a new identity. Throughout the story, the central protagonist Macon Dead III or Milkman, searches his family’s history to reclaim his past and recreate himself. …show more content…
Although the horrors of slavery are over, ancestors of renamed former slaves like Milkman lost a connection to their historical culture and family history. Toni Morrison attempts to show how these labels designated to African-Americans serve as a reminder of the evils of slavery, depriving them of cultural identity and history. As Milkman’s journey for self-discovery unfolds, events throughout the novel demonstrates the importance of names, raising the question; does a name determines the status or reality of a thing or does the reality of a thing determine the name? Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon gives an answer, showing that the power in family names is enough to create an

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