| Quote #1
Scattered here and there, his houses stretched up beyond him like squat ghosts with hooded eyes. He didn’t like to look at them in this light. During the day they were reassuring to see; now they did not seem to belong to him at all – in fact he felt as though the houses were in league with one another to make him feel like the outsider, the propertyless, landless wanderer. (1.1.27)
Though Macon lives in a world of order and defies his little sister who, to him, represents unnaturalness and evil, this is one of the only moments when we see a grown-up Macon aware of, or freaked out by, a supernatural presence, by a power greater than he.
| Quote #2
As a result, for all the years he knew her, her stomach was as smooth and sturdy as her back, at no place interrupted by a navel. It was the absence of a navel that convinced people that she had not come into this world through normal channels, but had never lain, floated, or grown in some warm and liquid place connected by a tissue-thin tube to a reliable source of human nourishment. (1.1.27-28)
Indeed, who knew that not having a naval would make life so tough and lonely for a girl? Pilate’s lack of a naval precludes her from belonging to any group or community, even the black community. She is constantly on the periphery, and, therefore, understands outcasts and human suffering better than anyone else in the book. Though we get to hear her whole story, how she came to be who she is, Pilate remains a kind of mythical, magical healer. Plus, she puts that little Voodoo doll on Macon’s chair that scares the living daylights out of him. Hehe.
| Quote #3
"Well, before we could get the sand rubbed out of our eyes and take a good look around, we saw him sitting there on a stump. Right in the sunlight. We started to call him but he looked on off, like he was lookin at us and not lookin at us at the same time. Something in his face scared us. It was like looking at a face under water." (1.2.43)
Song doesn’t even pretend to make its ghosts seem ambiguous. The ghosts are for real in the world of this novel, and both Macon and Pilate tell stories of seeing their father’s ghost.