Understanding the relationship between Song of Solomon
and "Song of Myself" requires more than an assertion that Morrison participates in and ultimately re-shapes the literary canon by signifying against Whitman, or that she melds Whitman's Eurocentric sensibilities with Afrocentric ones, which is especially problematic given Whitman's life-long interest in non-Western cosmologies, including India's Vedic traditions, but especially ancient Egyptian beliefs.
It is in this sense that Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon
provides an excellent illustration of the relationship between identity and the spaces through which identity is produced.
Director Struan Leslie, the RSC Head of Movement, admits: "Robert Burns in one of his poems describes the Song of Solomon
as 'the smuttiest sang the e'er was sung'.
Speaking specifically to Song of Solomon
by echoing Guitar Bains, but coextensively to Morrison's other novels, Mayberry observes that these works "model for the African American community what it advocates; it loves what it criticizes" (80).
Denzel Washington, who was among the first to join the project, reads passages from Song of Solomon
with his wife, Pauletta.
For the first, there is detailed discussion of the interpretation of the biblical Song of Solomon
, looking at it in both its Jewish and its Christian readings.
Toni Morrison's Love (NY: Alfred Knopf, 2003) like her earlier The Bluest Eye (1970) and Song of Solomon
(1976) pays a glowing tribute to the African American family in celebrating it as a vital force that helps create socially sensitive and morally responsible citizenry.
The relatively short Song of Solomon
makes over 40 references to plants, more than any other one book in the Bible.
Dod is used only three times in Isaiah; it is more typical of the Song of Solomon
where it is used 26 times.
There are few to rival the great love song of the Old Testament, called in the Bible the Song of Solomon
and, in the book itself, the Song of Songs.
The Bluest Eye is both an evocation and an indictment of childhood and the confusions of race and sex in America; Sula is at once about individuality and community, loneliness and sex, public events such as war and private moments between mothers and daughters; Song of Solomon
is a search for lost treasure and a meditation on male identity and social history; Tar Baby is about a beautiful, bright black girl who is lost and the man who finds her but who is ill-equipped to accept her gifts; Beloved is history as seduction and horror, wearing the face of a vengeful daughter whom a mother hopes will be able to forgive; Jazz suggests city life written on the spirit, how it leads to love and murder; and Paradise explores how dreams of utopia produce social conflict (see WLT 72:4, p.
This paper will explore the links between sexuality and subjectivity in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon
, and Paradise.