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Chapter 15 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where does Milkman want to swim?

2. Once Sweet learns that Solomon flew back to Africa, what is her next question? Why?

3. Why does Milkman read the road signs “with interest” on his ride back to Michigan?

4. What is the official name of “Not Doctor” street? Why isn’t it used?

5. Why doesn’t the narrator include a list of names in the last chapter?

6. What does Milkman conclude that all human relationships “boil down to”?

7. What does Pilate do when, upon Milkman’s return, he tries to embrace her?

8. Where is the “something of Hagar’s” that Pilate has put near Milkman in the cellar?

9. Why didn’t Milkman and Pilate fly to Virginia when they traveled there to bury Jake’s bones?

10. What does Pilate put on the grave instead of a rock or a cross?

1. Milkman wants to swim in the sea.

2. Sweet’s second question is about whom Solomon left behind. As a woman she is concerned with the welfare of the women and children.

3. Milkman reads the road signs with interest because he knows that beneath the names of the signs are other buried names that have meaning.

4. The official name of “Not Doctor” street is Mains Avenue, but the black community doesn’t use it because it has no meaning or history for the people who live there.

5. The narrator includes a list of names that bears witness to a past. Through the names the past can be recalled and memorialized. The list of names also celebrates both the fictitious figures of Song of Solomon and the historic figures and referents in African American history.

6. Milkman concludes that all human relationships boil down to: “Would you save my life? Or would you take it?”

7. When Milkman tries to embrace Pilate after his return from Michigan, she breaks a “wet green bottle over his head.”

8. Pilate has put Hagar’s hair in a shoe box near to Milkman.

9. Milkman and Pilate don’t fly to Virginia because Pilate will not “step foot on an airplane.”

10. Pilate put her earring in the grave, instead of putting a rock or cross on it.