Happy Endings, Sort Of…
November 13, 2012
Guitar Bains is one of the pivotal characters in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. As he ages throughout the novel, his character traits evolve--sometimes in unexpected ways. He begins as a watchful and passionate boy who understands the world around him better than most. However, as he ages, he finds that he seems to be among the minority of people who care about the social plight of African Americans. Throughout the book, he grows more and more radical, until his passion escalates to the point that he starts killing innocent people in order to keep the status quo. Despite a promising start, Guitar’s moral journey leads him to a fate as a misguided but well-meaning and self-justified killer.
From the very moment he appears in the story, it is clear that Guitar Bains is no ordinary boy. Even as a child, he notices much more than the adults around him. The first few times Guitar appears, almost every reference to him focuses on his eyes, and the life within them. The use of the phrase “cat-eyed boy” (7) is important because it is the reader’s first impression of Guitar and conveys the sense that nothing gets past him. Later, his eyes are described as “gashes of gold” (22) and “glittering with lights” (42). Each instance reveals another aspect of Guitar’s attentiveness and passion for life. The eyes are the windows to the soul (as the saying goes), and Guitar’s soul is complicated and perceptive.
From the beginning, Guitar is a good friend and mentor to Milkman. This friendship is essential to Milkman’s development because of his lack of a stable role model (his father does not fill this role). Guitar is the first person to help Milkman become aware of himsel...
... middle of paper ...
...s comin or was already here” (262). After all he and Milkman have been through, the extent of Guitar’s caring is to let Milkman know that he is hunting him, and when asked about it he justifies it by saying: “You’re my friend. It’s the least I could do for a friend“ (298). Guitar’s role as hunter of Milkman is ironic; Guitar hunts Milkman as though he is a bird, even though he was the first person to liberate Milkman (“free his wings”, etc.).
Despite Guitar’s moral shortcomings, it is nearly impossible to hate him. He has so much passion and so much love to give; it is just dissatisfying that he channels his feelings into death, rather than life. Although he becomes more radical as the book progresses, it is still admirable to see how much he cares about his race; his emotions are all so powerfully strong that he must take drastic action or he will lose his mind.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, the relationships between whites and blacks are a main theme. Throughout the whole novel Morrison adds her own opinions toward the race problems that the characters of Not Doctor Street experience. Poverty is another big issue in the novel and many of the main characters struggle financially. Money becomes a means of escape for many of the characters, especially Milkman and Guitar. For both men their quests for gold leaves them empty handed, but their personalities changed.... [tags: Song of Solomon Toni Morrison]
2033 words (5.8 pages)
- Biblical Illusions in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, is about a man named Macon Dead. Throughout this novel, however, he is known by all except his father as Milkman because his mother breastfed him until he was in his teens. The novel centers on Milkman's attempt to find himself. His family is a wealthy black family living in a poor black neighborhood, where Milkman's father prohibits Milkman from interacting with most of them, including his aunt. However, he ends up visiting her, and while there, he learns a little about his family's mysterious past and decides to look deeper into it.... [tags: Song Solomon essays Toni Morrison ]
670 words (1.9 pages)
- Milkman's Transformation in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon Milkman experiences many changes in behavior throughout the novel Song of Solomon. Until his early thirties most would consider him self centered, or even self-loathing. Until his maturity he is spoiled by his mother Ruth and sisters Lena and Corinthian because he is a male. He is considered wealthy for the neighborhood he grew up in and he doesn't socialize because of this. As a result of his spoiled childhood Milkman takes women for granted.... [tags: Song Solomon Toni Morrison Essays Papers]
689 words (2 pages)
- Transformation of Milkman in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, the character of Milkman gradually learns to respect and to listen to women. This essay will examine Milkman's transformation from boy to man. In the first part of the novel, he emulates his father, by being deaf to women's wisdom and women's needs, and casually disrespecting the women he should most respect. He chooses to stray from his father's example and leaves town to obtain his inheritance and to become a self-defined man.... [tags: Song Solomon essays Toni Morrison Papers]
1788 words (5.1 pages)
- The Importance of Names in Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon Toni Morrison’s award-winning novel Song of Solomon is full of very interesting, deep symbolism. Macon Dead III, nicknamed “Milkman,” is a very symbolic character throughout the novel. His character is not only symbolic, for so is his name. Also, Milkman’s paternal aunt, Pilate, has an extremely significant and symbolic role in the novel. To her father, she represents the child who killed her own mother and took away her father’s wife.... [tags: Toni Morrison Song Solomon Essays]
892 words (2.5 pages)
- The novel “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison emphasizes in the 1977 when the black community were getting mistreated by the whites. However, the novel explains about an individual learning through many obstacles in life because he was able to grow on his own. This individual goes by Milkman, but his real name is Macon Dead the third. Milkman was the first African American born in Mercy Hospital. Milkman maiden name is Ruth, and his father name is Macon Dead JR. Macon was believe that he pretended to act white, and wanted to kill his own son before he was born.... [tags: Family, Toni Morrison, Milk, Friendship]
1451 words (4.1 pages)
- Amy Crescimanno Happy Endings, Sort Of… November 13, 2012 Guitar Bains Guitar Bains is one of the pivotal characters in Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. As he ages throughout the novel, his character traits evolve--sometimes in unexpected ways. He begins as a watchful and passionate boy who understands the world around him better than most. However, as he ages, he finds that he seems to be among the minority of people who care about the social plight of African Americans. Throughout the book, he grows more and more radical, until his passion escalates to the point that he starts killing innocent people in order to keep the status quo.... [tags: Black people, African American, Race, White people]
1399 words (4 pages)
- “It was becoming a habit—this concentration on things behind him. Almost as though there were no future to be had.” (Morrison 35). The quote is from Toni Morrison’s novel called Song of Solomon. It is about Milkman and his problem of looking behind him that he ends up accidently peeing on his sister Lena. Morrison wrote the quote in the second chapter of the book to foreshadow Milkman’s problem of looking at the past more than the present and future. This is clearly shown at when Milkman thinks back to when his mom, Ruth, nursed him even though he was old enough not to, after Macon Jr., his father, told him about Ruth having sexual relationship with her father Dr.... [tags: Mind, Thought, Mother, Rhetorical question]
1102 words (3.1 pages)
- Destructive Love in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon When an emotion is believed to embody all that brings bliss, serenity, effervescence, and even benevolence, although one may believe its encompassing nature to allow for generalizations and existence virtually everywhere, surprisingly, directly outside the area love covers lies the very antithesis of love: hate, which in all its forms, has the potential to bring pain and destruction. Is it not for this very reason, this confusion, that suicide bombings and other acts of violence and devastation are committed in the name of love.... [tags: Solomon Toni Morrison]
1770 words (5.1 pages)
- Analysis of Toni Morrison’s Song Of Solomon 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.... [tags: Morrison’s Song Of Solomon]
1182 words (3.4 pages)