Song of Solomon, by: Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931. She was born in Lorain, Ohio to an African-American working class family. She always had an interest in literature, and studied humanities at Howard and Cornell universities. She began her career as a novelist in 1970, gaining attention from literary critics and readers for her poetic, expressive descriptions of the Black community in America. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993, which she was the first black woman to receive. Morrison’s own life influenced the novel Song of Solomon through both her personal and historic experiences. She grew up in the mid-1900s, a time when the civil rights movement was occurring, during which racism and segregation were common. The book centers around these events, and allows readers of all races to gain insight as to what life was like for an African-American of that time period. She also introduces black cultural ideas throughout the book, enhancing the readers ability to understand black America. Morrison effectively translates her own experiences with racial discrimination into this universal novel so that readers may better understand the viewpoint and culture of African-Americans, specifically during the 1950s and 1960s. On a personal level, Morrison modeled the character of Macon Dead after her grandfather, the character of Heddy after her great-grandmother, and Guitar after a mixture of her family and friends.
Song of Solomon takes place during the 1950s and 1960s, though it includes flashbacks that date back to the late 1800s. The action occurs in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The setting of this novel is important because during that time period, African-Americans were discriminated against. The majority of the book’s events center around the concept of racism, a significant issue during the mid-1900s. In...
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