Toni Morrison Writing Styles in Song of Solomon

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Motif

The main motif in Song of Solomon is flying: the novel begins with Robert Smith's flight from the roof of Mercy Hospital and ends with Milkman's flight from Solomon's Leap. The motif of flight is a complicated one: it represents transcendence as well as loss. Milkman's great-grandfather Solomon was able to transcend his circumstances by flying back to Africa, but in doing so he abandoned his wife and children. Milkman finds a better example of flight in Pilate, who can fly without leaving the ground.

Bildungsroman

The Bildungsroman is the classic Western coming-of-age novel. The Bildungsroman usually presents a young hero struggling to find his identity. In Milkman's case, he is at thirty-two much older than the classic Bildungsroman hero, but Morrison shows how Milkman's race, class, and natural inclination to passivity keep him trapped in his carefree boyhood until events in the story compel him to grow...

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This section contains 458 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Song of Solomon Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Song of Solomon from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.