Flying: The Transformation of Heart, Mind, and Soul

1796 Words8 Pages
“The fathers may soar and the children may know their names.” This was the basis of Milkman’s discovery of his past, which he would learn about in time. In Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon, Milkman goes through the early, adolescent, and middle stages of his life with little faith in himself, for he cannot fly, nor does he know flight’s true meaning. Milkman journeys through his life being selfish and vain because he has yet to discover his true identity. As Milkman grows, the more he experiences and encounters alone and with others. Not every experience he obtains is weighted with the same significance as others, but each helps progress him through his self-discovery to find his own way of flight. As Milkman discovers the past about his ancestors and their connection with flight, he goes through a transformation of heart, mind, and soul. When Milkman was a child, he struggled through his innocence and cluelessness, and eventually gave up on himself for knowing he could not fly. Milkman had gone through four years of his life before learning this devastating news of not being able to fly. As he sits and thinks about what he will not be able to do for the rest of his life, the narrator states Milkman’s early childhood as, “The next day a colored baby was born inside Mercy for the first time. Mr. Smith’s blue silk wings must have left their mark, because when the little boy discovered, at four, the same thing Mr. Smith had learned earlier-that only birds and airplanes could fly-he lost all interest in himself” (9). This represents the beginning of Milkman’s journey to finding the true meaning of flying in relation to himself. Milkman discovered that not even a grown man such as Robert Smith could fly, so he gave up on life. F... ... middle of paper ... exactly what he needed to do to fly. As a young boy, Milkman was selfish and had no interest in life because he was stuck on the ground, unable to fly. His age progressed but his attitude did not. He stayed the same rude and inconsiderate person in his adolescent and early adult years, including a majority of the times that he and Guitar spent as friends. Many of their journeys helped uncover some of the deeper meanings and connections of flight to Milkman. He traveled, only at first because of his greed, but when he became aware of everything that had occurred in the past with his family, he became more centralized and was determined to turn his life around. From that moment on, Milkman knew he was capable of anything, even flight. His heart, mind, and soul transformed through his self-discovery and personal experience of flying without any human-made help.
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