Song of Solomon, a novel written by Toni Morrison, says that the black body is represented by flight. Flight is ones escape from reality, and often is the action of abandonment. In Milkman’s case, he escapes prejudice and racism. Morrison suggest that throughout letting go of everything in essential is the only way for a person to reach “flight”. When the characters “let go”, they are able to escape the prejudice that troubles their society.
Flight is represented as freedom. Freedom from prejudice, troubles, connection, and history. Milkman has always had trouble with knowing and accepting his ancestry. He feels alienated from his family, and from humanity in general. He also physically different with a leg shorter than the other. Milkman believes that just because he can conceal his emotions but will feel liberated at the point of flight.
Milkman buys himself a car and flees to his hometown and flees from his troubles and history.
“None of this pleasantness was directed at him because of his father, as it was back home, or his grandfather’s memory, or his grandfather memory, as it was in Danville. And now, sitting behind a steering wheel, he felt even better. He was his own Director.
Morrison is showing us how sometimes letting go pf relationships or letting go anything in general is necessary to have a successful flight and a clean state of matter.
The conflict that Milkman has endured throughout his growing up has afflicted him racially and mentally. Milkman is finally able to heal his wounds by to Shalimar, the site of Solomon’s flight toward liberty.
The racism that has afflicted Milkman’s ancestors is partially responsible for Milkman’s own selfishness. Milkman is finally able to heal his wounds by traveling to Shalimar, the site of Solomon’s flight toward liberty.
In escape and abandonment, you give up a lot. As you escape, you also leave behind loved ones. By flying, the men abandon women, and the women are forced to bear the consequences while men are venerated.
Solomon’s flight allowed him to leave slavery in the Virginia cotton fields and made it to his freedom. Not only did Solomon fly away right in front of his wife and children but dropped the child who was weighing him down.
“He disappeared and left everybody. Wife, everybody, including some twenty-one children. And they all saw him go” 332.
The repeated abandonment by men shows that the novels female characters suffer a double burden. Not only are they women oppressed by racism, but they also have to pay the price for the men’s freedom.
Guitar tells Milkman that black men are the unacknowledged workhorses of humanity, but the novel’s events imply that black women more correctly fit this description. Reyna says, “…when that man left, they lost their minds, or died…” 323. The women in the novel bear themselves to take over all responsibilities the men left.
Although Pilate isn’t brought up as much, her voice is strong. She was born without a naval and a survivor of the same racism that resented Macon Jr. and Milkman.
Pilates loving strength does not show her strength or weaknesses. When a man beat his daughter, Pilate prevails. She is liberated without having to leave anyone or escape to gain freedom.
“Now he knew why he loved her so. Without ever leaving the ground she could fly” 336
Milkman comes to the realization showing that strength does not have to come at the expense of gentleness, and that personal freedom is not necessarily compromised by love for others.
Pilates regret was that she could have loved more people. She is supposed to be the perfect example of what flight should have been. She was able to escape without leaving anyone.
Mr. Smith decides that he wants to fly “At 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday the 18th of the 18th of February” 3 on his own wings, he was not able to fly, so instead committed suicide publicly. A woman then sings “O Sugarman done fly away Sugarman done gone…” 6 before his attempt to fly. Morrison makes it evident that one may not succeed in an attempt to fly without letting go of all connections to one’s relationships. Morrison also introduces Pilate and reveals that she had killed her mother. Milkman’s two sisters could picture the summer flying by and how every Sunday on their weekly family outings when in the car Milkman could see a silver wings flying freely. Throughout Morrisons novel, she expresses pain, abandonment, and freedom.