Magic Realism in the Root-Seeking Culture in Song of Solomon《所罗门之歌》中“寻根文化”的魔幻现实主义探析毕业论文

 2021-04-02 01:04

摘 要




Song of Solomon, written by Toni Morrison, is an indispensable work in contemporary American literature. The book describes the transformation of a young American black boy "Milkman" and his journey to South to find the root of his family and his culture. The trip to South changes Milkman from an indifferent, weak boy who lost his passion for life, to a confident, mature man who finally gains the spiritual freedom and achieves new understanding of his own ethnic culture. Milkman is proud to find out that he is the offspring of “the flying Solomon”. Magic realism is widely adopted in Song of Solomon as one of the major elements of the book. It is also a common feature of Toni Morrison's works. The paper focuses on the mythology of flying blacks, the supernatural power of Pilate and the conscious experience and dreamlike reality in Song of Solomon. It analyzes Morrison’s usage of magic realism in demonstrating the cultural identity of African American Literature. According to Morrison, one can get strength and confidence in his own traditional culture. People are able to truly inherit the ethnic culture once they pay significant attention to the tradition. In this way, the African Americans could identify themselves and not lose themselves in the white-dominant western society.

Key Words: Song of Solomon; Cultural Identity; Magic Realism; African American Literature


1 Introduction 1

1.1 Toni Morrison and Song of Solomon 1

1.2 An Introduction of Magic Realism 2

1.3 Literature Review 3

1.4 Structure and Significance 4

2 Milkman’s Journey to South----Seeking for Answer and Identity 5

2.1 Seeking for Answer----The Mythology of Flying Blacks 5

2.2 Seeking for Identity----The Journey to South 6

2.2.1 Cultural Identity in Song of Solomon 6

2.2.2 The Rootedness in African American Culture 7

3 Pilate: Representative of Afro-American Culture 8

3.1 Inheritor of African American Culture 8

3.2 The Supernatural Powers of Pilate 9

4 Conscious Experience and Dreamlike Reality 10

4.1 Conscious Experience: Employment of Memory 10

4.2 Dreamlike Reality: Magical Portrayal of Actuality 11

5 Conclusion 12

References 13

Acknowledgements 15

Magic Realistic Portrayal of Cultural Identity in Song of Solomon

1 Introduction

In African American literature, Song of Solomon is a milestone which received worldwide reputation. The book is known as a novel of initiation for American blacks in literary world. It remains a key novel in the collections of Morrison’s work and in the literary traditions of which it is a part. The book considerably explores the nature of family and cultural identity in a society still concerned with the legacy of slavery and its after-effects of racial violence. Song of Solomon imposes a profound influence both thematically and stylistically on Morrison’s later fiction. The novel has gained popular attention from a series of theoretical perspectives and is deeply rooted in the traditions of forming and shaping African American culture. (Smith, 1995)

1.1 Toni Morrison and Song of Solomon

Toni Morrison has earned plenty of literary accolades and honorary degrees, making herself the first African-American female to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Her works are famous for exquisite language, richly detailed African-American culture and appealing and unconstrained style. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970, telling a story of a young black girl who wants blue eyes so that she could change her miserable life. So far, eleven novels written by Toni Morrison have been published and each of them has received sustained scholarly attention and enjoyed worldwide reputation. Among her most famous works are Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), A Mercy (2008).

The literary success of Morrison and her deep influence of race in other African American works can be traced back to her childhood experience and her love for literature. Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, an industrial town consisting of people from different cultural backgrounds. In order to leave racism behind, her parents moved from Ohio to South, and then from South to North for better work opportunities. Under the impact of her parents, Morrison was immersed in African American cultural rituals, the folklore, music, ghost stories. (Smith, 1995) All of these can be reflected in her later works. In her interview with Christina Davis (1988), Morrison says:

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