All over the world, there are people who choose to live different lifestyles. Some people live only to be wealthy and rich while others are content with themselves no matter how poor they are. In Toni Morrison's novel, Song of Solomon, there are characters that represent people from all over the world. Macon Dead, his sister, Pilate, and his son, Milkman, differ from one another by the outlooks they have on life. .
Macon Dead's outlook on life is to be successful despite anyone's feelings. He is seen as a hard working African man. He does not have a true bond with any character in this story. For example, he tries to get rid of his son, Milkman, during his wife's pregnancy. He did not want another child, but as Milkman gets older, he uses him to help his business become more successful. He is a very materialistic man and wants as much money as he possibly can have. For instance, when Macon hears that Henry Porter, one of his clients, is fixing to kill himself, Macon goes to his residence just to make sure he gets his rent money before Henry ends his own life. Overall, Macon Dead is not well liked in the town where he lives because of his selfish ways.
Pilate Dead, Macon's sister, chooses to live a simple life. When she realizes that she is alienated from society because of being born without a navel, she begins to live for herself. She learns that she does not need any materialistic things to keep her happy. She is content as long as her family is near. She is very content with herself, even though she appears as an African woman with poor hygiene. Pilate lives with no electricity and eats whatever she is able to afford with her bootlegging business. Pilate's simple lifestyle makes her a very loving character in this story. .
In this story, Milkman Dead seems not to know what he wants out of life. He seems to be selfish by the way he uses his cousin, Hagar, for his own convenience.