While Song of Solomon is generally seen as a myth of the male maturation, it also contains the subtext of Pilate's rite de passage and the ritual of cultural immersion. In her history is the process by which she acquires the values that will sustain Milkman and by extension, the black community. Pilate's initiation occurs much earlier than Milkman's. Having been raised in relative isolation in the edenic Lincoln's Heaven, Pilate is abruptly and cruelly cast out as an orphan into the greater reality. Her quest for acceptance, however, turns into rejection, her navel-less belly a semé of exclusion.
Thus, in a reversal of the male myth, her initiation does not result in integration into the community but isolation from it. She must reach an individual, though parallel, level of maturity: "When she realized what her situation in the world was and would probably always be she threw away every ass...
... middle of paper ...
...er to Macon Dead's example of a good life. ... She represents the antithesis of her brother's way of life, though they essentially share the same values: hard work, education, and family. The difference, however, is again the motive behind these values.
Heinze, Denise. The Dilemma of "Double-Consciousness": Toni Morrison's Novels, University of Georgia Press: Athens and London, 1993.
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.
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