When someone looks up at a bird they see something soaring through the sky free from the world’s troubles. Through out man’s history they have been trying to find a way to be as free as birds and learn to fly. Unfortunately it has been an unsuccessful feat for man to accomplish. Although man has never really been able to fly on their own, they are able to fly with the help from a little machinery and ingenuity. Macon Dead Jr, or milkman, the nickname he adopted because he nursed from his mother, the protagonist of Song Of Solomon by Toni Morrison, had been trying to fly all of his life. But until he discovers his family’s history and his self-identity he unable to discover the secret that has been plaguing man for many centuries, how to fly. All people want to be free, but it takes a great feat, like flying, for them to be able to. Morrison expresses this idea through the symbolism of flying and Milkman’s yearn to be free and fly, his family history, and the incident with Pilot and the bird. By discovering this Milkman is able to finally learn what it means, and how it feels to fly.
Flying symbolizes many things to Milkman that help him understand his family history and finally become free. According to the Webster Dictionary fly means “to travel by air… to flee.” (208) “The central image is Milkman’s desire to fly.” (Mainiero 224) Milkmanwants to flee from his life and be free from all the burdens he has become so accustom to. Morrison shows flying as something that is used to escape or for Milkman to finally find happiness. He would be “as happy as a fly” (Morrison 142) if he could just escape the people he feels is holding him back and causing him so much despondency. Throughout...
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...lps Milkman realize how to fly and find himself.
Flying is one thing that will make anyone feel boundless and free from worries and trouble. Everyone wants to feel this kind of freedom, however unless they can fly, they are unable to. It’s obvious that Milkman would want to feel this freedom from all of the burdens that he has been presented with through out the entirety of his life. In his eyes things have gone from bad to worse, and from worse to unbearable. His family history has made it evident to him that it is possible for him to fly and be free, and his ancestors have, he just needs to learn how to do this. Pilate has really brought this idea home with the symbolism shown from the bird flying away with the one object that symbolizes her being, her earring. So in the end Milkman “now [knows]… if you surrender to the air, you [can] ride it.” (Morrison 363)
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