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The Paralysis Caused By Wealth Through Milkman And Guitar’s Characters

1379 words - 6 pages

Gabriela Cankova
12/3
03/11/2010

The Paralysis Caused by Wealth through Milkman and Guitar’s Characters
(Essay)

The book “Song of Solomon” represents a coming of age, a change, a metamorphosis in a young man. Throughout their lives Milkman and Guitar experience different childhoods, have different friends and live their lives dissimilarly due to their financial situations. When an opportunity for wealth comes up both of them start dreaming of different things, belongings and experiences. This desire for money paralyses them in that they can’t do anything to achieve their dreams. So even though Milkman and Guitar’s financial situation in their childhood is different, their ...view middle of the document...

This could by e symbol for the paralysis which the money causes in the Dead family. Throughout his life Milkman has been given everything he needs, without having to work for it, thus, his paralysis. On the other hand we have a young boy who has lived his life in a modest way. He never got everything he wanted or even needed. He had to work since he was young and saw his family go through hard times. When he is presented an opportunity to have more money his reaction is, “…Guitar simply could not resist the lure of something he had never had-money” (Morrison 181). For him the possibility of being wealthy means that most of his problems would be fixed. The word “lure” means “temptation” and if something is tempting than it’s probably bad. Therefore, Guitar realizes that if he gets the gold he desires it will be wrong because he would not have earned it by himself, but rather stole it. He will become like Milkman, taking things he has not worked for. Unknowingly, this temptation automatically puts Guitar in paralysis, leaving him unable to chose between right and wrong and wealth and poorness. Even though Guitar and Milkman grow up having different amounts of money, in the end they are both paralyzed by it.
The paralysis from the past can always be broken by the movement in the present. However both parties seem to be stuck on their desires and wishes to be wealthy and powerful. While they talk about what finding the gold can do for them they merely dream about the material world and not how they can actually achieve this world. Guitar allows himself to want the things he had never got to have or give as a child thinking, “Guitar allowed himself the pleasure of waking up old dreams: what he would buy for his grandmother and her brother, Uncle Billy, the market he would buy for his father’s grave, then the stuff for his brother and sisters…” (Morrison 179). Guitar has always dreamt of being like Milkman and being able to afford anything. He wants to buy his family what they could never buy him. He wants to give them everything they never gave him. This might be viewed as generosity, but there are many psychological thoughts and desires hidden behind it. He wants to show off to his family that he achieved everything they never did. He wants to prove he is better. Not once does he mention buying something for himself because he wants to show others what he has. This involuntarily puts him in a paralysis caused by money. When Milkman dreams of the money he mainly thinks of himself. The author writes, “Milkman wanted boats, cars, airplanes, and the command of a large crew. He would be whimsical, generous, mysterious with his money (Morrison 179). In this passage, Milkman too wants all the things he never had but they don’t include the material stuff, but the power that he has bought them on his...

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