Names In Toni Morrison's Song Of Solomon

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The Biblical names in Song of Solomon signify how the Black Community realizes the power of God over the persuasion of the white men’s money. Throughout the Dead family, the females received their name through a “blind selection of names from the Bible” (Morrison 18). This can be seen as “a not altogether inefficacious attempt to be guided by a source of authority older then and superior to that of the white men”, conforming to the idea that even though the white community were once the ones that branded them with their names, the black community is now able to make a name for themselves, and better yet a name chosen for them by God (Middleton 99). This rebellious action by the black community allows the white people to realize the black…show more content…
This is one of the first outbursts against the white community and is a subtle yet powerful way to show the significance of owning one’s own name throughout the black community. Pilate’s maternal role throughout the novel helps to enhance the idea that she finds wealth in sentimental possessions rather than materialistic ones reflecting the spiritual nature of her name and the value that she sees in her family’s legacy. Pilate’s name is often identified as shocking when revealed to other characters in the novel prompting defenses like “Not like no riverboat pilot. Like a Christ-killing Pilate”, suggesting that the Biblical allusions of the feminine names in the book carry a large amount of importance (Morrison 19). Pilate is a reference to Pontius Pilate from the Bible who is often labeled as favoring negotiation rather than confrontation (Scarborough). Pilate mimics these characteristics while being maternal because she chooses to enlighten her children and the people she cares for and try to discuss how to handle situations, rather than starting a quarrel. Pilate sees…show more content…
The name Macon is defined as “the maker” and Macon Dead embraces his name in terms of making money and nothing else. (Furman 187). Macon embraced nothing about his family and mocked the giving of names in his family which “was always surrounded by what he believed to be monumental foolishness” which suggests that he saw everything his family did as a waste of time if it was not returning a profit (Morrison 15). He even reveals that he marries Ruth “chiefly because he seeks to obtain her heritage, the prestige and wealth of her father”, demonstrating that he does not care about her true familial heritage, but just the money and profit associated with being indulged in her family (Naming and Misnaming 81). Macon is not propelled to car about Ruth’s heritage because he does not even care about his own heritage. His lack of concern regarding his family’s past stems from the idea that most of his family history becomes cut off due to the fact that they were slaves. As a result, Macon’s drive for money separates him from the community, isolates him, and effects how people perceive and even name the objects around him. Ultimately, his “name is only useful in describing himself and his car” stressing the idea that an aura of cold and lifelessness surrounds Macon (Kirby). The community labels his car as “Macon Dead’s

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