Examines themes of freedom in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”.
In Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple”, psychological and emotional freedom is presented as a goal that has to be earned. In the case of each novel’s main characters, that freedom is earned by rising above and moving beyond suffering and pain: the characters transcend their old, hurtful existences and achieve freedom from what dragged them down earlier in life. Milkman Dead in Song of Solomon and Celie in The Color Purple achieve very different kinds of freedom. Celie’s story ends in an almost stereotypical “happy ending,” while Milkman Dead’s fate is much more ambiguous, but both characters leave their past pain behind and move into a better present.