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Word Count: 1,282
Song of Solomon is the story of Milkmans search for identity He appears destined for a life of isolation and self-alienation The Deads exemplify the patriarchal nuclear family that has been a stable and critical feature of American society The family is the institution for producing children maintaining them and providing individuals with the means to understand their place in the world order But this same nuclear patriarchal structure of the family itself creates the problems it should be solving What represses the Deads is the father Macon his single-minded ambition his unscrupulous greed his materialism and his lack of nurturing his family Macon does not concentrate on being a loving and nurturing father instead he concentrates on another aspect of paternity the acquisition of property Macon aspires to own property and other people too His words to his son Let me tell you right now the one important thing that youll ever need to know Own things And let the things you own own other things too Then youll own yourself and other people too The owning of things as well as other people is a rather remarkable statement coming from a descendant of slaves Macon has not inherited this trait from his father even though he mistakenly thinks so His father had owned things that grew other things not owned other things Pilate Dead Macons younger sister is a marked contrast to her brother and his family Macon has a love of property and money and this determines the nature of his relationships with others Pilate has a sheer disregard for status occupation hygiene and manners and has the capability to respect love and trust Her self-sufficiency and isolation prevent her from being trapped or destroyed by the decaying values that threaten her brothers life The first part of the novel details the birth of Macon Dead III the first black baby to ever be born at Mercy Hospital which has
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