Human beings possess unique characteristics, some of which may be appealing, while others might be malicious. The basics of our characters are defined by how we behave, handle and approach things in our daily dealings. Understanding one’s personality is the route towards establishing friendships and the step towards comprehending how an individual should be treated. Similarly, Songs of Solomon by Toni Morrison is a novel which exhibits diversity in character. The Author builds on different aspects and employs the variety in style in substantiating different themes. Therefore, this contextual text endeavors to critically scrutinize and pay attention to trivial details and remarks about the temperament of Milkman in the Songs of Solomon.
Life is a journey, and a master plan is a map, guider, as well aa a driver. However, a lack of uniformity explains why different people take differing courses in life. All decisions should be critically assessed to ensure that the demerits are eventually achieved. Otherwise, regrets, failures, and hassles are never appealing to anyone. Nonetheless, carrying on a life without a purpose is not something you will find Milkman involving himself in as an individual. In a close analysis, he is the most narcissistic and conceited individual in the novel. However, his attitude is fascinating and thus, embarks on a journey to look for gold. Alongside this journey, Milkman resolves to establish another small expedition in finding out about the antiquity of his family.
Nevertheless, it is no that Milkman wants to trace his routes; accordingly, he is motivated by his greed. As mentioned earlier, demerits of this king’s decision have been carefully analyzed. Surprisingly, throughout his journey, his ravenousness and egocentric nature are transformed into a compassionate, considerate, and selfless individual.
It is accurate to state that Milkman took his haughtiness from his father. As the story opens, the Author substantiates Milkman’s character using Macon Dead 11(Morrison, 2004). Macon Dead 11 is among the few affluent personalities exhibited in the novel; hence, Milkman is nurtured in an environment where difficulty, hardship, and hunger never appear in their school of thought. Thus, he grows up with so much confidence and dominance, which later come to define his character. Macon Dead was cold-hearted in almost all his dealings. His obliviousness was written all over his face. For helpless tenants, he never aspired to comprehend or apprehend them when it comes to collecting rent. Additionally, sending them to the street was as easy as ‘can they make it on the streets?’ (Morrison, 2004).
What is more, he is so arrogant that he fails to show empathy for a mother who has no means and even hopes to filling the stomachs of his children (Morrison, 2004). The rationale behind his vindictiveness is the intention to tie knots with the physician’s daughter. To illustrate, he states; ‘it was part of those keys that he could dare to walk over to the part of Not Doctor Street and approach the most important Negro in the city. To lift the lion’s paw knocker, to entertain thoughts of marrying the doctor’s daughter was possible because each key represented a house which he owned at the time’ (Morrison, 2004, p.22).
Additionally, he attributes his accomplishment in amassing the wealth to his unpleasant character. To him, egotism is the ultimate initiative concerning accruing possessions. This means that he is proud of his nasty trait; hence, he will strive to embraces it. It is what he believes in as an individual. Consequently, in as much as Milkman tries to avoid the spiteful and unlikable character of the father, his system, or rather a subconsciousness does not have any trait to embrace if not his father’s. However, Milkman does not like his father, and vice versa is also right (Morrison, 2004). Despite the existence of hatred between them, Milkman always wished to live like his father; therefore, he had no choice but to follow his footsteps without any moderation.
Furthermore, all he wanted was to be commended by his father, who never even tried to do so. The authors also emphasize the use of specific words to bring out the temperament of Milkman. For instance, in his description, he refers to Milkman as a strut and never a limp in any case (Morrison, 2004). As a result, the two words bring into attention that Milkman has an arrogant attitude. The Author, however, posits that lowering himself was difficult because his complexity surfaced a certain hindrance that is only understood by Milkman himself.. Besides, he is used to superiority, a rare privilege in society. Thus, having a mild limp in the community was not an option for him. Equally, his reputation meant a lot to him, and he did everything in his power to maintain it.
Both Macon and Milkman were flooded with greed and the urge to amass more and more wealth. The resolution to go on a journey in search of gold is associated with the similarity in ravenousness between both Macon and Milkman (Morrison, 2004). Macon understands the value of gold. For that reason, he persuades and influences Milkman to go on a treasure to obtain gold. In doing so, Macon wittingly moved his son to acquire gold, for that will benefit both of them. As mentioned earlier, Macon is mean and does not acknowledge the efforts of his son to brings his footsteps. However, on this occasion, Macon appreciates his son, nonetheless, the intentions are clearly ill-motivated. Morrison states that the incidence was one of a kind when Macon decided to salute his son (Morrison, 2004). Additionally, he accords Milkman with a lunch that cherished (Morrison, 2004). Since, all his life, Macon has been struggling to impress his father, the opportunity was readily available, and he had no option but to take it graciously.
On his journey to find treasure, of which in this case is gold, Milkman meets face to face with the real world and appreciates the fact that money is not everything in life. As his character drastically shifts. The father’s son resemblance in style disappears in thin air and is substituted with a sensitive and affectionate kind of trait. Building on this, Morrison posits that Milkman wanted a change. He had realized that his family history was its present.
Additionally, there was little hope for change. He is worried that he will take on the legacy of his parents as his parents took on the legacy of his grandparents (Morrison, 2004). For sure, he was desperate for some transformation that would better his life. Besides, his parents were not only in an unhappy relationship, but also; their lives were also were miserable and not praiseworthy (Morrison, 2004). He specifically hated the life lived by Macon Dead 11(Morrison, 2004).
Nonetheless, the resolution he wanted to make was robust, and the only what to make it easy is to get enough gold, which facilitates his way of life. Nevertheless, he is sidestepped from reaching home by police officers on the road. In his fading arrogance and ruthlessness, he demands an explanation from the police for stopping a non-speeding vehicle. To his surprise, he received a rude answer, which states, ‘they stop anybody they want to’ (Morrison, 2004, p. 204). Up to this point, Milkman always had previously embraced self-centeredness. However, this was the incident that jerked his consciousness to accept that he was just like any other black person on the streets (Morrison, 2004). This resulted from the fact that he was stopped for no reason and arrogantly treated without any consideration of his high social status. His transformation began manifesting as converses with Reverent Cooper. The reverend provides a brief history of Milkman’s family history.
Contrary to the prejudgment set for him, Milkman shows a sense of humility in his opinions about his family (Morrison, 2004). Additionally, he admittedly states that the Butlers harmed innocent people in their quest to quench the thirst for more wealth and satisfaction. In this instance, Milkman cares and is concerned about other people as compared to Macon. Therefore, he advocates for equality, urging the whites not to mistreat blacks because of their skin color (Morrison, 2004). To add, Milkman assist a stranger. The action is a surprise to those who previously knew him. In consistence with his previous efforts, Milkman has never whatsoever performed a selfless act not just in public but also in his personal life. Therefore, the Guitar was surprised by his deeds (Morrison, 2004). He had become considerate, caring, and sensitive to a character that is entirely different from his father (Morrison, 2004).
In conclusion, Milkman’s character, which is inherited from his father, is unappealing. Additionally, it is oppressing and totally out of the typical norms of society. He comes to realize that there is so much in life that concentrating on money alone is just but a limitation to finding a purposeful life. This happens on his journey to steal gold from Pilate. After realizing that, he resolved to sidestep from his parents’ way of life. He wanted a life of his own. After an encounter with the police, Milkman is transformed into a considerate and caring man.