Song of Solomon
Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
His voice sounded different to Milkman. Less hard, and his speech was different. More southern and comfortable and soft. (1.2.52)
In recalling the memories of his childhood, Macon melts a little and assumes the dialect of his hometown. Memory is capable of softening Macon. Money has made him hard.
"He never read nothing. I tried to teach him, but he said he couldn’t remember those little marks from one day to the next." (1.2.53)
Macon’s father Jake never learned to read. Here we see how even reading (along with time) is unimportant when one works with nature, when one has developed a language like the language in which the Shalimar hunting party is fluent. It seems as though it isn’t that Jake couldn’t remember the alphabet; it’s that he didn’t find it necessary to remember the alphabet. This brings to light the idea that people remember what is useful, what is important, and what is essential.
The house smelled fruity and she remembered how the peach has nauseated her the last time she was there. […] She tasted again the Argo cornstarch and felt the marvelous biting and crunching it allowed her. (1.5.135)
Smell instantly triggers Ruth’s memory. Memory lives in the olfactory, reminding us of how important taste buds are when burning a moment on the brain. Memory is not only visually or emotionally triggered. In this way, the senses again become extremely important agents in the telling of Song.