In the Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison sets up an in depth look at the mother-child relationships for many of the characters. When reading it is easy to make connections about how the mothers treated their children and how they turned out. Ruth turned Milkman into a man who fears commitment. Pilate turned Reba into a woman who craves male love. And Reba spoiled her daughter Hagar, which lead her to think she was the center of the universe. The way Ruth raised her son had profound consequences.
She breast fed him until he was much too old. The exact age is never stated, so the reader gets to use his or her imagination, but he is clearly past the acceptable age limit because when _____ see’s the sight he immediately spreads the word and as an outcome Macon is given his new name, Milkman. Ruth has her motives of course; being deprived of sexual activity by her husband when she was still a young woman led her to crave any male intimacy she could find, though one could not expect a child to embrace or even comprehend the scenario.Since Milkman was, in his mind, betrayed by the one woman that was supposed to love him unconditionally at such an early age, he never latched onto women. Even at the age of 30 he could not settle down with Hagar, who was madly in love with him.
Pilate was a good mother, but she neglected to incorporate a male figure into her daughter, Reba’s, life. Pilate could never stay with a man very long because there were always issues concerning her lack of naval.She left the man who she conceived Reba with even though he wanted to get married. Since Reba never had a male figure in her life she felt very deprived and craved it by the time she was an adult. This caused her to be over anxious for men. When one presents themselves to her she allows them to treat her bad because she has such a need for them to stay. Reba, with the help of Pilate, raised her daughter Hagar to be spoiled.
Since she was young they got her whatever she wanted. When she was feeling depressed, Reba cashed in the only thing that she ever kept from her years of winning contests, so that she could go on a shopping spree. She treats her daughter like gold from the day she was born. Treating an only child like that will only make them think they are the center of the universe.
Since she was nurtured into that personality she did not know how to handle being dumped when Milkman did it.She figures she is the only person that matters, so it does not make sense to her that somebody would not want her. This confusion drives her to insanity and eventually suicide. The way that each mother in Song Of Solomon raises their children ends up hindering their development. Milkman is unable to commit, Reba is a sucker for anything with a penis, and Hagar can not handle not being loved. They were all emotionally fractured due to the way their mothers raised them, but who in this day and age isn’t?