Importance Of Materialism In Milkman

Superior Essays
From the very beginning of the novel, there is a uniform struggle amongst the characters to search for meaning in their lives. The main hindrance to their own personal discoveries is materialism. Materialism prevents the characters from flying by "weigh[ing] [them] down" the way a peacock with "all th[e] jewelry" on its tail "weighs it down" (Morrison 179). The only way for the peacock to "soar" is to relieve itself of its "jewelry" much like Milkman, Hagar, and Pilate are only able to find purpose in their lives after shedding materialism (283,179). Milkman is in a constant battle with himself and what he wants to do with his life. He is not able to understand why the people around him are “all going in the direction he [is] coming …show more content…
This is enforced for her when he see’s Milkman with another woman that has silky hair after he ends it with her. She thinks the reason he left is because of how she looks, when in actuality it didn’t really have anything to do with her at all. She thinks the solution to getting Milkman back is to go out and buy “a Playtex garter belt” and numerous other items of clothing and makeup and to get her hair done so he will love her (310). Her perception of love combined with materialism ends up causing her to believe that she has no purpose without Milkman. This idea of hers is very deeply rooted and keeps her from believing Guitar when he tells her “he can’t value you more than you value yourself” …show more content…
The material object that the bones were to her were a great burden for her. They were a reminder of a horrible event that happened after watching her father get shot and she thought it was her duty to take responsibility. Only after Milkman tells her that the bones actually belong to her father, Jake, is she able to gain some peace both with the thought of being partially responsible for a murder and with her fathers death. In a way the bones were holding her back from loving other people and the fact that she wishes she “[would] a know[n] more people” and “loved ‘em” really shows that. She reserved a part of herself and her love for the bones she feels she needs to honor (336). She sees that the bones were holding that part of herself back from other living people. Pilate’s death is very important for Milkman’s journey because he reaches the point where he needs to go out on his own and take flight, which he wouldn’t be able to truly do with her still alive. Pilate’s death is also important for her self because it allows her to fully give up materialism and take flight when the bird “scoop[s]” the box with her name “in its beak before it fl[ies] away” allowing Pilate to take flight along with

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