What is the role of sex in Morrison's novel Song of Solomon? Why do you think she used so much sexual imagery and what effect do you think that is supposed to have on the reader?

1 Answer

gbeatty's profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I would say that Morrison used such a strong array of sexual imagery in the novel for several reasons. First, passion in general plays a strong role in all of Morrison's work, and sexual desire is a powerful passion. Second, there is a longstanding stereotype about Black sexuality, and I think Morrison is playing against and exploding that stereotype. Another way she's writing as a Black writer is by writing about how the African-American position in society places undue weight on people, distorting them; the odder sexuality in her work is sometimes evidence of this. Finally, Morrison is writing something like modern myths or American magical realism, and uses the sex as a kind of barely naturalized magic.