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Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
Pilate Dead Timeline and Summary
Pilate’s mother dies before she is born. Pilate lives and works on Lincoln’s farm with her father and brother. Pilate watches her father get shot and sees him die slowly. Pilate and Macon run to Circe’s house. Pilate and Macon stay at Circe’s house for two weeks. Pilate misses her wild cherry jam. Pilate pierces her ear. Pilate and Macon leave Circe’s house. Pilate and Macon see their father’s ghost everywhere. Pilate and Macon sleep in a cave. Pilate watches her brother kill a white man in the cave. Pilate fights her brother who wants to steal the gold in the cave. Pilate chases her brother out of the cave and stays there for one night. Pilate finds room and board with a preacher and his wife. Pilate does well in school, especially in geography. The preacher starts flirting with Pilate. Pilate leaves the preacher’s house. Pilate joins a group of migrant farm workers and picks beans in New York. Pilate starts dating one of the farm workers, until he notices she doesn’t have a bellybutton. Pilate is expelled from the group and is given lots of money as she goes. Pilate joins another group of migrant workers. Again, she takes a lover. Again, the group finds out she doesn’t have a bellybutton. Again, Pilate is abandoned. Pilate finds work as a washerwoman. Pilate catches a wagon down to Virginia. Pilate washes clothes at a hotel. Pilate moves to an island where a community of farming families dwell. Pilate takes a lover, but makes sure he doesn’t see her belly button. Pilate has a baby. Pilate goes to pick up her father’s bones in the cave. Pilate returns and lives on the island for two more years. Pilate roams from town to town, and from state to state. Pilate has a grandchild, Hagar. Hagar is prissy, so Pilate decides to go in search of her brother and his extended family. Macon kicks Pilate out of his house. Pilate establishes a bootlegging business on Darling Street. Pilate helps Ruth get pregnant. Pilate helps Ruth keep Milkman alive in the womb. Pilate meets Milkman. Pilate helps bail Milkman and Guitar out of jail. Pilate tells Macon, Milkman, and Guitar what happened the day she and her brother split. Pilate talks to Ruth. Pilate tries to save Hagar. Pilate grieves Hagar. Pilate breaks a bottle over Milkman’s head. Pilate goes to Shalimar with Milkman. Pilate buries her father on Solomon’s Leap. Pilate places her snuffbox earring on her father’s grave. Pilate gets shot. Pilate asks Milkman to take care of Reba for her. Pilate wishes she could have loved more people. Pilate asks Milkman to sing. Pilate dies staring at something beyond Milkman’s shoulder. A bird swoops down a grabs her snuffbox earring.