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Essay: Pilate as Milkman’s Inspiration

Sample Essay

Milkman Dead’s experiences of sovereignty are similar to that of Odysseus’.  The first is through women on his path.  Hagar is a fine example of achievements acquired from women (Toni Morrison).  Near the beginning of the novel when Milkman sneaks over to her house, her voice made it so that “Milkman could hardly breath.  Hagar’s voice scooped up what little pieces of heart he had left to call his own”(49).

This is Milkman’s first evident time away from home, clearly going against his parents’ will.  In his rebelliousness, he takes on a defensive role and seems to find an emancipation and to top it off, hearing this beautiful young girl’s voice seems to take him to an unrestricted realm, as the narrator says, “he thought he was going to faint from the weight of what he was feeling”(49).  Not only is Hagar a relevant woman, but Pilate also is, as she is the first and last woman to help him realize his destiny: freedom.  One of her many examples happen when she quotes at the end of the novel, “I wish I’d a knowed more people.  I would of loved ‘em all.  If I’d a knowed more, I would a loved more”(336), which is deep to Milkman.  He realizes that Pilate is the only person he has ever known that is able to “fly” or be free, without having to leave the ground and take her life (Toni Morrison).  Pilate is Milkman’s inspiration, and shows him that true freedom does not have to come gaining possessions for one’s self, but rather personal freedom is gained my loving others.

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