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Our AP IV class will be reading Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon and blogging about it.

by Lane L teacher: Caroline Ancelet

Prior to reading the first four chapters of “Song of Solomon,” by Toni Morrison, I did not believe that I would like this book. Once I began to read it, I fell partial to Morrison’s style of writing. He (SHE!)often uses nicknames for his (HER!)characters; some being legitimate, and others being a joke. For instance, in chapter one, Morrison tells us that Macon Dead III was given the name “Milkman” because his mother breast fed him after infancy. I personally found this very humorous, and became intrigued to what other characters would acquire nicknames. Morrison also uses many literary situations that Thomas Foster describes in his novel “How to Read Literature Like a Professor.” Chapter thirteen of Foster’s book is entitled “It’s All Political,” and talks about how Foster believes that political writings target a certain group and time, and do not travel or age well. On the other hand, Political writings that question more broad-based topics can become a compelling piece. The aspect of racial segregation in Morrison’s novel is ever-present, because the characters are African American, and some like in a bad side of town. One instance of racial segregation is in chapter one when Morrison writes, “The next day a colored baby was born inside Mercy hospital for the first time” (9). Macon Dead III was the first colored child to be born in a segregated hospital, and this became very relevant to any time or place historically and in the present time. Racial segregation affected many people, and hatred to other races still occurs. Foster’s prediction was true in that the political writing aspect is present in all literature: the level as to which it is present varies in every case.

One thing I wish to ask of the classmate who responds to my blog is; why do you believe the strong connection to Mr. Smith trying to fly in the first chapter resembles the Greek Legend of Icarus trying to fly with wax wings. Both plummet to their death after their wings fail them. Was Morrison trying to portray the belief of human flight to freedom, or advancements of a new age?

Article posted July 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM • comment • Reads 69 • see all articles

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