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Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon

by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon Analysis

Literary Devices in Song of Solomon

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The peacock first randomly appears in the used car lot where Milkman and Guitar are hanging out, considering all of the things they will buy and do with the gold they are about to steal. It is comp...

Setting

Setting in Song of Solomon is as important as candy is in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The city near Lake Superior is never named, but we assume it is Detroit, Michigan. We as readers spe...

Narrator Point of View

Have you ever noticed that the word "ominous" is almost inside of the word "omniscient?" OK, maybe only the first two letters are, but we do think there is something a little ominous about this omn...

Genre

Oh yes, we went there. Never fear, friends, Shmoop never makes a mistake. Song of Solomon can indeed be classified under (at least) seven different genres. And if you are in the mood to play that a...

Tone

Well, let’s just take the very first sentence of the novel. It seems neutral, placid, and without the emotion to tell us how we should feel about this particular life insurance agent. Sounds...

Writing Style

We know what you're thinking. "Descriptive? Isn't every novel descriptive? What kind of cheesy label is that?" Let's just put it this way: Song of Solomon is descriptive in the way cotton candy is...

What’s Up With the Title?

The "Song of Solomon" is both folkloric and Biblical in origin. Before we feast our eyes on Toni Morrison’s novel, we know that songs are going to feature largely, and that this novel may eve...

What’s Up With the Epigraph?

The fathers may soarAnd the children may know their namesBy the time we get to the epigraph, we already know we have a song and a guy named Solomon on our hands. The epigraph helps fill in the blan...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Guitar puts his gun down. We just got so worked up when that happened. This ending is highly and brilliantly ambiguous. We know these facts to be true: Milkman and Pilate bury Jake’s bones on...

Plot Analysis

Milkman is the king of the worldWith a snazzy nickname, an aunt who makes booze, a best friend who protects him from bullies, a part time job, and a girlfriend with a nice booty, Milkman is pretty...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Milkman learns about his mother.Explanation/Discussion: Milkman feels pretty dang triumphant after he defends his mom from his dad’s abusive hand. But then he hears the story of Ruth’s...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Milkman meets Pilate, the forbidden aunt, and learns about his father’s (and therefore his family’s) past. Milkman’s curiosity for his history is stirred, and he lays plans for hi...

Trivia

Song of Solomon was the first book by an African-American writer to make the Book-of-the-Month Club’s main selection list since Richard Wright’s Native Son in 1940.Morrison says she nev...

Steaminess Rating

If you’ve read "What’s Up With the Title?" you already know why Song of Solomon is rated R. But we’ll indulge you further. While many people in this novel aren’t getting any...

Allusions

Old Testament, Song of Songs (referenced through the novel’s title)Reba (throughout)Pilate (throughout)Hagar (throughout)First Corinthians (throughout)Magdalene called Lena (throughout)Ruth (...

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