Summary: Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, a novel of large beauty and power, creates a magical world out of four generations of black life in America, a world we enter on the day of the birth of Macon Dead, Jr. (known as Milkman), son of the richest black family in a mid-western town; the day on which the lonely insurance man, Robert Smith, poised in blue silk wings, attempts to fly from a steeple of the hospital, a black Icarus looking homeward... We see Milkman growing up in his father's money-haunted, death-haunted house with his silent sisters and strangely passive mother, beginning to move outward--through his profound love and combat with his friend Guitar...through Guitar's mad and loving commitment to the secret avengers called the Seven Days...through Milkman's exotic, imprisoning affair with his love-blind cousin, Hagar...and through his unconscious apprenticeship to his mystical Aunt Pilate, who saved his life before he was born. And we follow him as he strikes out alone; moving first toward adventure and then--as the unspoken truth about his family and his own buried heritage announces itself--toward an adventurous and crucial embrace of life. This is a novel that expresses, with passion, tenderness, and a magnificence of language, the mysterious primal essence of family bond and conflict, the feelings and experience of all people wanting, and striving, to be alive.
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Macon III Dead, aka "Milkman"
Self-centered; pursues sensual pleasures; wants to understand his racial identity and his ancestry.
Macon II Dead
Successful; driven; materialistic; works hard to hide his working-class Southern heritage.