Thursday, March 15, 2007

The children in the video we watched who chose a white doll as "good" over a black doll proved that judgment and acceptance within humans relies heavily on appearances. The theme of alienation versus acceptance based on appearance alone comes up repeatedly in "Song of Solomon". Milkman is told that he was a disappointment to some members of his family because of his darker skin, while his sisters are loved for their fairer complexions. Pilate is seen as "evil" and outcast by the community because of her unusual appearance and lack of a navel. Like the children in the video, the characters in "Song of Solomon" show a tendency to favor and accept those who they consider to have normal or superior appearances; in the case of the children in the video and characters in "Song of Solomon", a Caucasian appearance is the preferable criteria.

1 comment:

Karen O'Neil said...

One of the interesting aspects about Pilate is that once she figures out her apperance will always set her apart from others (no navel!!), she embraces her difference. She cuts off her hair, gives up table manners and hygiene, dresses however she wants to dress and instead "acquires a deep concern for and about human relationships." (149). Her compassion for troubled people keeps her "barely within the boundaries of the elaborately socizlied world of black people." Despite her "outrageous dress" she makes a place for herself. In fact, she seems the only truly liberated person in the novel.