Song of Solomon
is a 1977 novel written by Toni Morrison
. In the story, the main character called Milkman Dead deals with his family (which includes his money-hungry father, his love-deprived mother, his two sisters whose only occupation is making velvet roses, his aunt, cousin, and second cousin) in a racially-tense period in Detroit, whose only friend is named Guitar Bains. Along the way, as Milkman tries to find out about a hidden stash of gold that his father claims his aunt has taken, he discovers in his travels a town called Shalimar whose citizens have a common ancestor that is part of a children's game song, and who also may be an ancestor of Milkman's own family.
The title has nothing to do with a book from The Bible
that is also called "The Song of Songs".
This story provides examples of:
- Author Filibuster: It seemed like the plot was a decent story about 2 estranged friends and looking for treasure, but it was kind of hard to tell under all the preaching and metaphors.
- Birth/Death Juxtaposition: The story begins with a man named Robert Smith on the roof of the hospital, falling to his death as he attempts to fly with a suit he has created. One of the women in the crowd of onlookers goes into labor, and the next day gives birth to the protagonist, Milkman, becomes the first black child born in that same hospital. He then grows up and learns to fly himself. Sort of/maybe.
- Belly Buttonless: Pilate Dead, the sister of the second Macon Dead, is said to be born without a belly button.
- Dead Person Conversation: Pilate has constant communication with the ghost of her dead father.
- Doomed New Clothes: Hagar buys new clothes and makeup in order to impress Milkman Dead, but since she was in such a hurry to get home and try out the stuff, she has to deal with the rain and her bags tearing on her way there. By the time she does get home and put all that stuff on, Pilate and Reba see that her new clothes suffered major damage, to say nothing about her smeary makeup and wet hair.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Milkman Dead, the nickname of the third Macon Dead, is called this his entire life after a neighbor caught his mother breastfeeding him long after he was too old to be breastfed.
- Generational Saga: Has elements of this.
- Mock Guffin: Milkman Dead hits his head on a sack hanging on the ceiling within Pilate's house, which he tells his father. His father then assumes that it must be the gold that he and Pilate found in the cave that Pilate wouldn't let her brother get his hands on, that she actually went back when they separated and took the gold for herself. Milkman Dead and his friend Guitar Bains then break into Pilate's house in the middle of the night to steal the bag, only to later find out that all it contained was the bones of a man that Pilate and her brother had killed in the cave.
- Oral Fixation: The character Pilate is described as always chewing something: orange seeds, pine needles, a rubber band.
- Spurned Into Suicide: Implied to have happened to Hagar when she realizes that Milkman Dead was no longer interested in her and her latest attempt to beautify herself has tragic results.
- Yandere: Hagar. She's so in love with Milkman that, after their relationship has ended, she constantly goes after him to kill him when she starts seeing him with other women.