Titel: Mythology in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon: The motif of "flight"
Autoren/Herausgeber: Daniela Grosche
Ausgabe: 1., Auflage
Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3 (A), University of Paderborn, 15 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The novel is needed by African-Americans now in a way that it was not needed before – and it is following along the lines of the function of novels everywhere. We don‘t live in places where we can hear those stories anymore; parents don‘t sit around and tell their children those classical, mythological, archetypal stories that we heard years ago. But new information has got to get out, and there are several ways to do it. One is the novel.
With this statement Toni Morrison clearly suggests the function of her novel Song of Solomon. That is, on the one hand, the preservation of traditional Afro-American folktales and on the other hand their adaptation to contemporary times. Realizing this double function, it is very challenging to make the analysis of the mythological character of the novel the topic of a seminar paper. Song of Solomon is spiritually grounded in the folktale “People who could fly”, an Afro-American folktale, which depicts the escape of a community of slaves by taking flight. Therefore I will center my analysis on the motif of “flight” in the novel, presenting different ways of interpretation. First of all, I will point out the function of myth in Song of Solomon. In the third chapter I will concentrate on the folktale “People who could fly”, comparing it with Toni Morrison’s narration about Solomon. Being the focal point of this seminar paper, the discussion of the motif of “flight” follows in the fourth part. It deals with the connection between the motif of “flight”, which turns up time and again in Milkman’s life, and Milkman’s search for his identity. Moreover I will point out Pilate’s role in Milkman’s quest for his cultural heritage. The last chapter contains a discussion of the different modes of “flight” and their significance.