Song of Solomon Chapter 11 Questions and Answers

Toni Morrison

Chapter 11 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do the Shalimar women carry in their hands? What does Milkman expect to see them carrying?

2. Why does Milkman end up buying a car to travel to Shalimar?

3. What does Milkman say about “southern hospitality”?

4. How does Mr. Solomon pronounce Shalimar?

5. What message does Guitar leave with Mr. Solomon for Milkman? What does it mean?

6. Why didn’t Milkman play as a child the way the children of Shalimar do?

7. How did Milkman and Guitar originally meet?

8. What are the two major things Milkman does wrong to incite the men of Shalimar?

9. What is the name of the place where the wind sounds like a sobbing woman?

10. What does the earth tell Milkman when he listens to it?

Answers
1. The Shalimar women carry nothing in their hands where Milkman would expect to see a pocketbook, change purse, wallet, keys, paper bag, comb or handkerchief.

2. Milkman buys a car to travel to Shalimar because the town is so small that he can’t get there directly by train or bus.

3. Milkman says that southern hospitality is “for real.” He wonders why “black people ever left the south,” and he thinks “the Negroes are as pleasant, wide-spirited, and self-contained as could be.”

4. Mr. Solomon pronounces the name Shalimar as “Shalleemone.”

5. The message Guitar leaves with Mr. Solomon for Milkman is “Your Day has come.” It means Guitar is going to kill Milkman.

6. Milkman didn’t play as a child the way the Shalimar children do. He was excluded from their games because he was dressed in a “velvet suit,” and because of his wealth, which isolated him.

7. Milkman and Guitar first met when Guitar pulled four boys off Milkman after Milkman’s nose had been bloodied in a fight.

8. Milkman talks about the Shalimar women as if they are sex objects and he announces to the men that he may have to “buy another car to get back home.” He doesn’t introduce himself or ask their names. He refers to the Shalimar men as “them” in their presence.

9. The place that sounds like a woman sobbing when the wind hits it is Ryna’s Gulch.

10. The earth tells Milkman that Guitar is standing behind him. This realization gives Milkman enough time to “catch the wire” that Guitar is about to fasten around his throat.