In Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon, she explores several significant male identities by developing and metamorphisizing her male character aroubd the archetypal search for identity. Her male characters are all surrounded by legacies that haunt them throughout most of their lives, and this legacy becones them to search out their own family or personal identity. As Samuel Allen states in his critical review of Song of Solomon, "Morrison achieves an unusually skillful transition into a timeless mythological world of quest for meaning and identity,"" (30). Allen supports Morrison's male identities by providing a universal means of understanding for all readers. .
As Allen states, "In Song of Solomon which, briefly put, defines the growth into manhood of a young Black man in a Midwestern town, the focusing consciousness is male,"" (30). Allen is supporting the idea of male identities being the strong focus of Song of Solomon. At the center of that strong black male identity search is Milkman Dead and his best friend Guitar. .
Milkman is the legacy of a family of men who have done many things to find themselves and shape their life. His great-grandfather flew for his freedom, his grandfather died for his beliefs, and his father traded goodness for power and wealth while all along trying to attain one thing acknowledgment from the white race as equals. His ancestors flew, died, and lived a life of greed all to try to develop some small part of the black male identity. Milkman approaches his journey is a different way altogether. Perhaps, because he is ignorant, immature and nave to all of the knowledge to be gained, but he begins his search for his father and soon becomes tangled in his own male identity through the truths of his family history. .
All Milkman has ever known is greed, power and wealth and Morrison develops Milkman's identity, originally, around these things. After experience and heartache rain down on Milkman's ease of living life he realizes that what he thought was an identity was truly only a cover for what kind of black man he really was a fake.