Song of Solomon
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Compare and contrast Pilate and Ruth. How does each of them treat Milkman? How does belonging to different economic classes affect their relationship with each other?
2. Compare and contrast Macon Jr.’s and Milkman’s quests for gold. How does searching for gold alter their personalities?
3. What is the relationship between whites and blacks in Song of Solomon? What does the novel reveal about Morrison’s attitude toward race problems?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. How do various genres such as magical realism, adventure story, and heroic epic, typify the plot of the novel? Is one genre term more appropriate than others? If so, why?
2. How does poorness influence participation in the Seven Days? Though the group is motivated by racism rather than economic injustice, why are all its members poor?
3. How is the relationship between love for an individual and love for an ideology explored in the novel? What are the similarities and differences between Hagar’s and Guitar’s expressions of love?
4. How do physical abnormalities represent the personality traits of the novel’s characters? Does Pilate’s lack of a navel have the same effect on her as Milkman’s undersized leg has on him?
5. What is the ideological agenda embedded in the novel? Is there a moral lesson to be learned from Song of Solomon? If so, what is it?
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