Song of Solomon
Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
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Song of Solomon Part 2, Chapter 13 Summary

  • Hagar goes into a deep depression when Milkman leaves her standing in Guitar’s room with the butcher knife, and nothing Pilate or Reba can give her soothes her mind or makes her forget about Milkman.
  • Even Guitar, who takes her home and treats her like a baby unicorn when he finds her frozen solid in his pad, tries to convince her not to care about Milkman. But she is too far gone.
  • Guitar takes her home. He tries to get her to listen to him, to listen to reason. He tells her that everything he’s loved in his life, he has lost. He summons a beautiful metaphor of love, telling her that clouds often love a mountain, but they never cover the mountain’s head. They never consume or demand every inch of the mountain, like Hagar is demanding of life and of Milkman.
  • But Guitar’s wizardy words do not help. He realizes she is afflicted by her spoiled-rotten ways. She needs a whole armada, army, and chorus of women in her life to help discipline her and teach her the ways of the world, to make her grow strong and confident.
  • In an attempt to ease Hagar’s sorrow, Reba gives her a mirror, and Hagar takes a good look at herself.
  • She comes to the immediate conclusion that it’s her looks that are the crux of Milkman’s rejection of her. She tells Reba and Pilate that she needs new clothes, new makeup, and a new look.
  • Reba sells the diamond ring she won at Sears and Hagar goes shopping, buying a sea foam colored slip, a two-piece Evan-Picone outfit, con brio shoes, jungle red lipstick, Bandit and Chantilly perfume, sky blue eye shadow, Youth Blend foundation, and Sunny Glow blush.
  • After arranging a last minute hair appointment, Hagar goes walking in the rain, but she doesn’t realize it’s raining. Her new purchases get soaked and ruined when her shopping bag breaks. She returns home, soaked to the bone to Pilate and Reba’s dismay. She dresses herself in her new purchases and makes up her face with her new colors.
  • When she presents herself to Pilate and Reba, she sees in their eyes the grime and disrepair of her rain-soaked, muddy clothes.
  • Soon after, Hagar develops a fever and grows very sick. She dies.
  • Ruth demands that Macon pay for a proper funeral, because Pilate and Reba have no money to afford one, having given away all of their money to Hagar so that she could buy the things she wanted.
  • Pilate bursts into the church where the priest is presiding Hagar’s service, and cries out, "Mercy!" She continues to say this word, singing it out of despair and heartache.
  • She tells the congregants, "and she was loved!" (2.13.319).
  • One of her sympathetic customers accidentally drops a bottle of wine at the back of the church; it bleeds jungle red like Hagar’s lipstick, and thus ends one of the most heartbreaking chapters in literary history.
Next Page: Part 2, Chapter 14
Previous Page: Part 2, Chapter 12

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