Song of Solomon Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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What is the significance of the "song" that Pilate sings?

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Pilate is the moral guide for the other characters.  She is a nice, sweet person and is never mean or cruel, as her biblical name suggests she should be.  Pilate sings spirituals because she is trying to connect to her roots.  Pilate is a survivor.  She is different, and feels alienated from others, but the song helps her feel connected to her people in a bigger, general, ancestral sense.  She sings about Sugarman’s flight.  In Pilate’s version, her ancestors are free.  Pilate is creating a past that never was, in order to survive the present.  In doing so, she also connects herself to the other characters in the book.

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