Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Whenever we see a cave in literature, we automatically think of Lazarus, that Biblical man who was thought to be Mary Magdalene’s brother. Word got to Jesus that Lazarus was dead in a cave and had been for four days. Jesus went to the cave, opened it up, and out popped Lazarus still in his mummy-death clothes, but fit as a fiddle.
It’s hard to keep track of all the dead bodies that are dumped or left in this Montour County cave, but we realize that we still aren’t quite sure what happened to the bones of the man who Macon stabbed to death way back when. The pitch-blackness of this cave, as well as all of the mystery surrounding the skeletons and hidden treasure found within, only serve to heighten the symbolism of the cave. The fact that Pilate stays inside with the dead man for so long also says something about her and her supernatural ways. But even so, we still don’t know who took the gold and we still don’t know what happened to the old white man.