Essay on Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon

Essay on Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon

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Milkman’s Search for Identity in Song of Solomon

 
   Song of Solomon tells the story of Dead's unwitting search for identity. Milkman appears to be destined for a life of self-alienation and isolation because of his commitment to the materialism and the linear conception of time that are part of the legacy he receives from his father, Macon Dead. However, during a trip to his ancestral home, “Milkman comes to understand his place in a cultural and familial community and to appreciate the value of conceiving of time as a cyclical process”(Smith 58).

 

The Deads exemplify the patriarchal, nuclear family that has traditionally been a stable and critical feature not only of American society but of Western civilization in general. The primary institution for the reproduction and maintenance of children, ideally it provides individuals with the means for understanding their place in the world. The degeneration of the Dead family and the destructiveness of Macon's rugged individualism symbolize the invalidity of American, indeed Western, values. Morrison's depiction of this ...

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