In a study about minorities, the groups that are differing from the dominant culture are seen as homogeneous. But, if we look deeper into the groups, we can see that there are distinctions among the minorities concerning lifestyle and social status. In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon the author provides examples in the background of the story that shows people with differential identities of the general identity of the minority group.
The character Macon Dead and his family is represented as differing from the society they live in with their social status. They are rich and try to live like white people. It is important for Macon Dead to have a good impression on other people. Since he had to face a lot of difficulties as a child because of his race he wants to be as rich as possible to gain respect. These ambitions cause him to split ways with his sister Pilate, as we see in this part of the novel:
"Why can't you dress like a woman?"... "...What are you trying to make me look like in this town?" He trembled with the thought of the white men in the bank- the men who helped him buy and mortgage houses- discovering that this raggedy bootlegger was his sister. That the propertied Negro who handled his business so well and who lived in the big house on Not Doctor Street had a sister who had a daughter but no husband, and that daughter had a daughter but no husband. (20)
We see from this passage how important for Macon Dead the thoughts about him by others is important; especially the thoughts of white people. He already believes that he has a good impression on those people. "In 1936 there were very few among them who lived as well as Macon Dead" (32...
... middle of paper ...
...anest unhung niggers in the world (270).
As we know from the end of the novel, Milkman will have all his feelings changed during his stay in the town:
"He was curious about these people. He didn't feel close them, but he did feel connected, as though there was some cord or pulse or information they shared. Back home he had never felt that way, as though he belonged to anyplace or anybody" (293).
Song of Solomon provides an example of a minority with a minority. It is clear that social status is a factor in alienating people from the society.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Toni Morrison. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 1990.
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: The Penguin Group, 1977.
Peterson, Nancy J. Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Minorities within Minorities in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon In a study about minorities, the groups that are differing from the dominant culture are seen as homogeneous. But, if we look deeper into the groups, we can see that there are distinctions among the minorities concerning lifestyle and social status. In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Push, and Song of Solomon the authors gave some examples in the background of their stories that shows people with differential identities of the general identity of the minorities.... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
1959 words (5.6 pages)
- Typically minority groups are thought of in the context of race; however, a minority group can also consist of gender and class. The struggles facing a minority group complicate further when these different facets of minority categories are combined into what is sometimes called a double minority. Throughout their writing, African American women have exposed how being a double minority changes the conditions of being a minority. In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, the African American female characters demonstrate the impact of having a double minority status.... [tags: Song of Solomon Essays]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- Whitewashing of African American Culture Exposed in Song of Solomon White culture would rather keep the African American culture at a distance and shape it into what the white culture believes it should be rather than accept the enrichment offered by the African American culture. This may be because of the white culture's fear of anything and anyone obviously different in appearance. However, it is not enough for the dominant culture to separate itself from the African American culture, it has to shape and mold that culture into the stereotype projected upon the minority culture.... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
1467 words (4.2 pages)
- Song of Solomon, Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight, Black Elk Speaks, and Bless Me Ultima The family dynamics in Song of Solomon, Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Black Elk Speaks, and Bless Me Ultima demonstrate an expansive shift from what is generally considered to be a traditional, nuclear family. Each work presents a view of family life that depict characters attempting to build alternative families to find support, self-identity, and understand where they fit in. Any discussion of family dynamics and minority groups requires some clarification of definitions.... [tags: Song Solomon Bless Me Ultima]
4294 words (12.3 pages)
- Plight of Black Women as Double Minorities - Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Song of Solomon, Push Typically minority groups are thought of in the context of race; however, a minority group can also consist of gender and class. The struggles facing a minority group complicate further when these different facets of minority categories are combined into what is sometimes called a double minority. Throughout American history, African American women have exemplified how being a double minority changes the conditions of being a minority.... [tags: compare and contrast essay examples]
2372 words (6.8 pages)
- A Dream Revised in Song of Solomon, Push, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl America was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." However, a question must be posed which asks who constitutes "men" and what is "equal". Where do women fit into the picture. What about minorities. The Declaration of Independence serves as the framework for rules that govern the people who fall beneath it, but who were the architects of the infamous work. They were white, upper class, men.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2968 words (8.5 pages)
- Defining Moments in Song of Solomon, Push, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas For those who bask in the light of privilege in the dominant culture, they take for granted their right to assert themselves and to be acknowledged as "somebody who matters". For those who live in the shadowy margins (such as the American poor and/or minorities), they experience the systematic denial of the basic human rights - to live at one's fullest potential, in other words, an outright denial from living a "dignified life".... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
3596 words (10.3 pages)
- African-American Nightmare Exposed in Olaudah Equiano, Narrative of Frederick Douglass, Song of Solomon, and Push The American Dream was founded on the concept that "all men are created equal"(Jefferson 729) and that everyone has the capability and resources to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps." The Declaration of Independence was written so Americans could achieve this dream, but was not written with the African slave in mind. The African slave was never intended to be a part of this American Dream, therefore, not capable of obtaining it.... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
2233 words (6.4 pages)
- Inclusive Spirituality in Song of Solomon When slaves were brought to America they were taken from all they had known and forced to live in a land of dark irony that, while promising life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, provided them with only misery. In a situation such as the one in which the slaves found themselves, many people would rely on their religion to help them survive. But would slaves be able to find spiritual comfort within the parameters of a religion that had been passed on to them from the slaveholders.... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
878 words (2.5 pages)
- Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages. O Sugarman done fly away Sugarman done gone Sugarman cut across the sky Sugarman gone home...... [tags: Song Solomon essays]
2134 words (6.1 pages)
- Essay on the American Dream Revised in Song of Solomon
- Essay on Dysfunctional Families in Song of Solomon
- Essay on African-American American Nightmare in Song of Solomon
- Essay on the Myths of the African American Woman in Song of Solomon
- Essay on the Flying Motif in Song of Solomon
- Free Song of Solomon Essays: Father and Son Relationship