Song of Solomon

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Guitar Bains Character Analysis

Milkman’s childhood friend, and later a member of the Seven Days, a group that enacts violent revenge on whites it perceives to be guilty. He despises whites of all kinds, and resents Macon Dead II for charging his family too much rent. He comes to desire Pilate’s gold as necessary to fund his group, and believes that Milkman seeks the gold in part to deny Guitar from getting it. Guitar thus tries to kill his friend and does murder Pilate, and the novel ends with Milkman having to make a choice whether to avenge Pilate’s death and kill Guitar or to forgive him.

Guitar Bains Quotes in Song of Solomon

The Song of Solomon quotes below are all either spoken by Guitar Bains or refer to Guitar Bains. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Names Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Song of Solomon published in 2004.
Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

They had picture-taking people and everything waiting for the next person to walk in the door. But they never did put my picture in the paper. Me and Mama looked, too, didn’t we?” She glanced at Pilate for confirmation and went on. “But they put the picture of the man who won second prize in. He won a war bond. He was white.” “Second prize?” Guitar asked. “What kind of ‘second prize’? Either you the half-millionth person or you ain’t. Can’t be no next-to-the-half-millionth.” “Can if the winner is Reba,” Hagar said. “The only reason they got a second was cause she was the first. And the only reason they gave it to her was because of them cameras.”

Related Characters: Ruth Foster (speaker), Guitar Bains (speaker), Hagar (speaker)
Page Number: 46
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Guitar and Milkman meet Reba and Hagar, the daughters of Pilate. Reba is renowned for her luckiness: she's always the first to win raffles and lotteries. Here, for example, Reba wins a prize for being the five-hundred-thousandth person to walk into a Sears and Roebuck store.

Reba's extreme luckiness tells us a few things about the style of the novel. Above all, her luckiness suggests the magical realism of the book. In real life, almost nobody is as lucky as Reba--and yet within the limits of the story nobody comments on Reba's fortune; it's accepted as a given (the very definition of magical realism). Furthermore, Reba's surreal good luck accentuates the racism of her society. As we learn here, Reba's picture isn't taken after she wins the prize, because the racist newspaper publishers don't want to honor a black woman (they give her the prize money but don't put her picture in the paper). Even with all her luck, Reba still loses out to the racism of her society--a harsh reminder of the extent of all the other black characters' "bad luck."

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Part 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

“Since I was little. Since my father got sliced up in a sawmill and his boss came by and gave us kids some candy. Divinity. A big sack of divinity. His wife made it special for us. It’s sweet, divinity is. Sweeter than syrup. Real sweet. Sweeter than…” He stopped walking and wiped from his forehead the beads of sweat that were collecting there. His eyes paled and wavered. He spit on the sidewalk. “Ho—hold it,” he whispered, and stepped into a space between a fried-fish restaurant and Lilly’s Beauty Parlor.

Related Characters: Guitar Bains (speaker), Milkman
Page Number: 61-62
Explanation and Analysis:

Guitar, one of Milkman's friends, recalls his childhood, when his father was killed in a sawing accident. Guitar recalls what happened after his father's death in cinematic detail: the sawmill owner gave him sweet candy. Ever since eating the owner's sweet candy, Guitar has found himself unable to enjoy sweetness of any kind.

Guitar's quotation is important on many different levels. First, we have the evocative conceit of a white store owner offering candy to a black child after the child's father dies. This incident is meant to symbolize the way that white Americans (even the well-meaning ones) deal with racism and oppression: instead of trying to solve the problem or make any fundamental change in their way of life, white Americans try to "paper over" the tragedy with sappy cliches or quick fixes--like giving a child candy. Furthermore, the incident forms an important part of Guitar's character: he's so disgusted with the white man's fake kindness that he seems to abandon kindness altogether (symbolized by his rejection of sugar). Perhaps Guitar goes too far in responding to the tragedy in his life: he becomes too brutal in his desire to obtain justice for the deaths of his friends and family, murdering whites as indiscriminately as his own family was murdered.

Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

“There is a society. It’s made up of a few men who are willing to take some risks. They don’t initiate anything; they don’t even choose. They are as indifferent as rain. But when a Negro child, Negro woman, or Negro man is killed by whites and nothing is done about it by their law and their courts, this society selects a similar victim at random, and they execute him or her in a similar manner if they can. If the Negro was hanged, they hang; if a Negro was burnt, they burn; raped and murdered, they rape and murder.

Related Characters: Guitar Bains (speaker), Milkman
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Guitar illustrates the iron law of "blood for blood" that he holds as a member of his secret society, the Seven Days. As Guitar sees it, there is a constant "exchange" between the white community and the black community. Whenever a black child is killed by racist whites, the black community as a whole has a duty to avenge the child's death by killing a member of the white community. While most people in the black community lack the determination to avenge their peers' deaths, the aim of Guitar's secret society is precisely to execute whites.

Guitar is calm and intimidating as he explains this violent rule to Milkman. He never stops to address an obvious moral flaw in the system: he and his peers may be executing innocent white people whenever they avenge the murder of an innocent black person. It may be "just" to punish murder with murder, but it isn't exactly fair to group an entire race together and consider them all equally complicit in a crime. While white people can obviously still be racist and uphold racist structures without actually killingblack people, in practice the idea that an innocent white child should be killed in exchange for an innocent black child seems brutal and unjust.

Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

He’d always believed his childhood was sterile, but the knowledge Macon and Ruth had given him wrapped his memory of it in septic sheets, heavy with the odor of illness, misery, and unforgiving hearts. His rebellions, minor as they were, had all been in the company of, or shared with, Guitar. And this latest Jack and the Beanstalk bid for freedom, even though it had been handed to him by his father—assigned almost—stood some chance of success.

Related Characters: Macon Dead II, Milkman, Ruth Foster, Guitar Bains
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

Milkman and Guitar have planned to work together to steal gold from Pilate's house. Milkman wants to steal gold for a number of reasons, but above all, he wants to gain a measure of freedom and independence for himself--he thinks that with the money the gold will provide, he'll be able to travel far away and start a life for himself.

As the quotation indicates, Milkman's desire for freedom and independence is psychological as well as geographic. He's learned a lot about his family in recent months: he knows about the possibly incestuous relationship between his mother and grandfather; his other grandfather's years as a slave, etc. Milkman is, in short, haunted by his family's past, and by the nightmarish legacy of racism as a whole. For now, he thinks that the best way to escape his own past is to make money and use it to "start over."

“How come it can’t fly no better than a chicken?” Milkman asked. “Too much tail. All that jewelry weighs it down. Like vanity. Can’t nobody fly with all that shit. Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” The peacock jumped onto the hood of the Buick and once more spread its tail, sending the flashy Buick into oblivion. “Faggot.” Guitar laughed softly. “White faggot.”

Related Characters: Milkman (speaker), Guitar Bains (speaker)
Related Symbols: Flight
Page Number: 179
Explanation and Analysis:

In this symbolic passage, Milkman and Guitar, preparing to steal gold from Pilate's house, notice a large peacock strutting around outside. As Milkman and Guitar discuss the bird, they notice that it's unable to fly: it is so weighed down with its fancy plumage that it can't fly away from its home on the ground.

The peacock has obvious symbolic resonances for the characters--it's like an inkblot test, revealing the characters' psychology. From Milkman's perspective, the bird seems to symbolize the weight of the past. Milkman sees himself as being weighed down by the legacy of his family--slavery, incest, violence, etc. And yet we, the readers, recognize that the peacock is also an omen of the futility of Milkman's plans to free himself. Milkman believes that by stealing gold, he'll be able to "fly away" to a new place--but we suspect that he, like, the peacock, will get too weighed down by his new wealth to find any real freedom at all. Finally, we should note that Guitar thinks of the peacock as the symbol of white extravagance and complacency: the bird, like the average wealthy white man, is a ridiculous, incompetent figure (no match for a clever, motivated black man like Guitar).

Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

“Look. It’s the condition our condition is in. Everybody wants the life of a black man. Everybody. White men want us dead or quiet—which is the same thing as dead. White women, same thing. They want us, you know, ‘universal,’ human, no ‘race consciousness.’ Tame, except in bed. They like a little racial loincloth in the bed. But outside the bed they want us to be individuals. You tell them, ‘But they lynched my papa,’ and they say, ‘Yeah, but you’re better than the lynchers are, so forget it.’ And black women, they want your whole self. Love, they call it, and understanding.

Related Characters: Guitar Bains (speaker)
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:

Guitar makes this speech to Milkman, who's being chased by his jealous, spurned lover, Hagar. Guitar's speech is both self-serving and insightful: he argues that all of the United States looks to destroy "the life of a black man." White men and women think of black men as scary and intimidating: they want black men to be quiet and docile, i.e., dead. Guitar goes on to argue that black women want black men to love them completely--in other words, to commit to monogamy and marriage right away, and to not be angry about the racism they have to face.

Guitar's complaints that black women are too "needy" sound like sexism, however: Guitar seems to have no real respect for black women, meaning that he treats them like sexual objects, not human beings. Guitar's speech is designed to make Milkman feel better about ignoring Hagar. Yet in the process, Guitar makes it clear that his own views of women are quite twisted.

Part 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

It sounded old. Deserve. Old and tired and beaten to death. Deserve. Now it seemed to him that he was always saying or thinking that he didn’t deserve some bad luck, or some bad treatment from others. He’d told Guitar that he didn’t “deserve” his family’s dependence, hatred, or whatever. That he didn’t even “deserve” to hear all the misery and mutual accusations his parents unloaded on him. Nor did he “deserve” Hagar’s vengeance. But why shouldn’t his parents tell him their personal problems? If not him, then who? And if a stranger could try to kill him, surely Hagar, who knew him and whom he’d thrown away like a wad of chewing gum after the flavor was gone—she had a right to try to kill him too.

Related Characters: Milkman, Guitar Bains, Hagar
Page Number: 276-277
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Milkman comes face-to-face with his own selfish behavior. Milkman has spent most of his life believing that he doesn't deserve what's happened to him. He thinks of himself as the victim of an unjust universe: a black man in a racist society; the victim of an angry woman (Hagar); the reluctant bearer of his family's tragic history, etc. At every point, Milkman has pretended that he's above such pain--he claims that he's entitled to better.

As Milkman studies the language of his own thoughts, however (the word "Deserve"), he comes to see how silly his beliefs have been. Milkman recognizes that he's not "entitled" to anything in life--he must accept his problems and pains. Furthermore, he realizes that he does, in fact, deserve some of the hardship he's experienced: he certainly deserves some pain for mistreating Hagar, for example.

Milkman's epiphany has an unmistakably religious flavor--his thought process is similar to that of Job at the end of the Biblical book of Job. Like Job, Milkman realizes that he doesn't automatically deserve anything in life--everything good in his life has been given to him by someone else, while his sins and misdeeds are partly his own, not just the products of a corrupt world.

Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

Guitar looked at the cookie again, then back into Milkman’s eyes. Nothing changed in his face. Milkman knew it sounded lame. It was the truth, but it sounded like a lie. A weak lie too. He also knew that in all his life, Guitar had never seen Milkman give anybody a hand, especially a stranger; he also knew that they’d even discussed it, starting with Milkman’s not coming to his mother’s rescue in a dream he had. Guitar had accused him of selfishness and indifference; told him he wasn’t serious, and didn’t have any fellow feeling—none whatsoever. Now he was standing there saying that he willingly, spontaneously, had helped an old white man lift a huge, heavy crate. But it was true. It was true. And he’d prove it.

Related Characters: Milkman, Guitar Bains
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Milkman confronts Guitar, now his sworn enemy. Guitar believes that Milkman has run off with the gold which the two of them tried to steal from Pilate (in reality, there is no gold). Guitar, who wants the gold to fund his secret society, wants to kill Milkman for his betrayal. He confirms his belief that Milkman is a thief when he sees Milkman at the train station, helping an old white man lift a crate into the train. Although Milkman was only helping the man, he knows that from Guitar's perspective, it looks like he's taking Pilate's gold out of the city.

The irony of the scene is that Milkman has become a good man--but too late. Milkman really was trying to help the old man, but because he's spent most of his life refusing to help anyone, he knows full-well that Guitar will never believe the truth. The passage conveys how greatly Milkman has changed in only a few days. The encounters with Circe, and the general spirit of traveling the country in search of his past have taught Milkman to be a stronger, kinder man--the very antithesis of his former self. Milkman's transformation is nothing short of miraculous--and so of course, Guitar (blinded by his hatred) doesn't believe it.

Part 2, Chapter 15 Quotes

“Yeah. That tribe. That flyin motherfuckin tribe. Oh, man! He didn’t need no airplane. He just took off; got fed up. All the way up! No more cotton! No more bales! No more orders! No more shit! He flew, baby. Lifted his beautiful black ass up in the sky and flew on home. Can you dig it? Jesus God, that must have been something to see. And you know what else? He tried to take his baby boy with him. My grandfather. Wow! Woooee! Guitar! You hear that? Guitar, my great-granddaddy could flyyyyyy and the whole damn town is named after him. Tell him, Sweet. Tell him my great- granddaddy could fly.”

Related Characters: Milkman (speaker), Guitar Bains, Solomon
Related Symbols: Flight
Page Number: 328
Explanation and Analysis:

In this section, Milkman embraces the knowledge he's just learned. His distant ancestor, Jake, was the son of a man named Solomon--a man who's so famous in some parts of country that his name can be found everywhere. Solomon, according to legend, was a slave who, dissatisfied with slavery, decided to fly back to Africa--and did. Solomon tried to take his favorite child, Jake, back to Africa with him, but failed. Now, Milkman realizes, he is the descendant of Jake--and therefore the inheritor of a rich, magical family legacy.

Milkman's joy in this scene stems from the fact that he's finally found a history for himself. After years of being tormented by the knowledge that his grandfather was a pathetic, abused slave, and his other grandfather might have been guilty of incest, Milkman is overjoyed to finally have a family history to be proud of. The fact that this family history is bizarre and possibly imaginary is never addressed. In other words, it's never clear if Solomon's ability to fly is accepted as a fact according to the rules of the novel (i.e., Solomon's flight is an example of magical realism) or if Milkman is so desperate to find something to believe in that he chooses to believe in a myth. Ultimately, though, the reality of Milkman's family history matters less than the effect it has on him. Milkman has finally found a family for himself--one to be embraced, not despised.

Milkman stopped waving and narrowed his eyes. He could just make out Guitar’s head and shoulders in the dark. “You want my life?” Milkman was not shouting now. “You need it? Here.” Without wiping away the tears, taking a deep breath, or even bending his knees—he leaped. As fleet and bright as a lodestar he wheeled toward Guitar and it did not matter which one of them would give up his ghost in the killing arms of his brother. For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.

Related Characters: Milkman (speaker), Guitar Bains, Solomon
Related Symbols: Flight
Page Number: 337
Explanation and Analysis:

At the very end of the novel, Guitar--still furious with Milkman for supposedly stealing the gold for himself--tries to kill Milkman, accidentally murdering Pilate in the process. Here, Milkman asks Guitar if Guitar wants Milkman's life, and then runs toward him. It's left to us to decide what will happen next: will Guitar kill Milkman; will they embrace and forgive one another, will Milkman "fly away," etc.

Although Morrison ends the novel on a note of ambiguity, a few things are clear. In the second half of the novel, Milkman has become a better man: more selfless, forgiving, and loving. Here, he seems to be forgiving Guitar for his horrendous crime; indeed, Milkman seems to be surrendering all his anger and desire for revenge, preaching forgiveness and mercy to an extent that Guitar seems incapable of matching.

The key word of this final passage is "surrender." Guitar has lived his life based on the belief that surrender is always a sign of weakness: for example, the black community has largely "surrendered" to the white community's authority. In contrast to Guitar's desire for revenge and aggression, Milkman has surrendered completely: he's given up any desire for bloodshed, material wealth, or power. And yet Milkman is anything but weak; on the contrary, his humility and spirituality give him power (here, for example, he's brave and eerily calm, not even shouting at Guitar anymore).

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Guitar Bains Character Timeline in Song of Solomon

The timeline below shows where the character Guitar Bains appears in Song of Solomon. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
The Power of Names Theme Icon
...free him by taking him to a woman who will shape his future. The boy, Guitar, tells Milkman that he’s been inside Pilate’s house, and takes him to see Pilate, Milkman’s... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Guitar asks if Pilate is Macon Dead’s sister, and Pilate tells him that she is one... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Pilate asks Guitar where he gets his name, and Guitar explains that his mother took him downtown when... (full context)
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
The conversation turns to wine making, and Guitar asks Pilate if her wine is any good — surprisingly, Pilate replies that she has... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
One day — one of the few days when Milkman has opportunities to see Guitar anymore — Milkman and Guitar go to a pool hall, owned by a man named... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Guitar mentions that he doesn’t like to eat sweet foods, and Milkman is amazed. Guitar can’t... (full context)
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...separate person with thoughts and emotions. Milkman leaves the house and goes in search of Guitar. He is angry that his father told him about his mother, and feels that he... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman finds Guitar in Tommy’s Barbershop. Everyone in the shop is listening to a radio report about a... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman and Guitar walk to a nearby bar, Mary’s, where Milkman asks Guitar where his name comes from... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
Racism Theme Icon
...Tommys are closing up their shop, Milkman asks them about their mention of saddle shoes. Guitar, who is still standing in the shop, tells Milkman that there’s information he doesn’t need... (full context)
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...she is. Milkman senses that Ruth is in danger: she won’t be able to breathe. Guitar asks Milkman why he didn’t help his mother in the dream, but Milkman can only... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Milkman thinks that Guitar no longer enjoys music or drinking; the only things he likes anymore are sports and... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...and Freddie is surprised that Milkman doesn’t believe him. He then advises Milkman to ask Guitar why he’s spending time with Empire State, a mentally unstable janitor, and hints that Guitar... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Six months have passed since Milkman argued with Guitar. Milkman lies in Guitar’s bed, thinking about being stabbed by an icepick. Five hours earlier,... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
As Milkman and Guitar talk, it becomes clear that Guitar has traveled through the North. Guitar muses that the... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman asks Guitar if he can have Guitar’s room for the night. Guitar doesn’t believe that Milkman would... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman sits in Guitar’s room, thinking about his mother. He hears footsteps, and knows that Hagar is coming to... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Milkman is talking to Guitar about the latest of his many encounters with Hagar, who is still trying, clumsily, to... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...whites,” but his examples — John F. Kennedy, Albert Schweitzer, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt — Guitar dismisses. Guitar concludes that he may be arrested for his crimes, but he doesn’t care... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8
Racism Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Guitar thinks about the four black girls who were blown up in a church. To avenge... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Guitar and Milkman try to think of a way to get Reba, Pilate, and Hagar out... (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Guitar wants to run into the house and steal the gold, while Milkman wants to get... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...walks in to hear Milkman arguing with Macon. Macon is angry that Milkman has included Guitar in their scheme to steal the gold, but Milkman points out that since the sack... (full context)
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Pilate had been called down to the police station, where she confirmed that he and Guitar had stolen the sack — Milkman says that they did so as a joke, to... (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...has done for him — made him food, shown him beauty, etc. He thinks about Guitar and realizes that he has murdered and will murder again. Shortly thereafter he sees a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
...to Danville. He flew in a plane, which dazzled him, though he was saddened that Guitar wasn’t coming with him. Guitar had wanted to join, but Milkman told him that it... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...he learns that someone from Michigan drove to Shalimar looking for him; Milkman realizes that Guitar must have come to the store, and thinks that he must be in trouble. (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
As Milkman walks outside the General Store thinking of Guitar, he sees children playing and chanting a nursery rhyme about Solomon. He remembers that he... (full context)
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...nearby gas station called King Walker’s. Milkman sleeps in his car that night, dreaming that Guitar is looking down on him. The next morning, he goes to meet the other hunters,... (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...his hand between his neck and wire, and he fires his gun into the trees. Guitar, who has been trying to murder Milkman, runs away, startled. (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
...on the ground. Milkman claims that he tripped and his gun went off, not mentioning Guitar. The hunters laugh and display the bobcat they’ve caught. They leave the forest and travel... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The day after Guitar tries to kill him, Milkman travels to Susan Byrd’s home. He thinks that Guitar won’t... (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
As he walks away from the house, thinking about his family, Milkman runs into Guitar, who is casually trimming his nails, and seems to have been waiting for Milkman. Stunned... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...the events of the previous chapter. Hagar has given up her attempts to kill Milkman. Guitar, who has returned from Virginia, finds Hagar waiting at his home. He tells her to... (full context)
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Guitar’s thoughts turn to his own life. Everything he has loved left him, he tells Hagar:... (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Guitar drives Hagar back to Pilate, and Pilate and Reba treat her with great sympathy, cooking... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...by to see him, Milkman isn’t perturbed, though he assumes that it must have been Guitar. Together, Sweet and Milkman walk to the nearby river, with Milkman chanting the children’s nursery... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
...his father, and even Reverend Cooper and his friends. He also tells Sweet that if Guitar is still in Virginia and looking for Milkman that she should tell him about Solomon. (full context)
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...tries to convince himself that when he returns to Michigan, he’ll be able to convince Guitar to be friends with him again — Guitar will see that no crate has arrived,... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Milkman understands that Guitar is the one who shot Pilate, and was in fact trying to shoot him. He... (full context)
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Milkman, weeping, runs toward Guitar, asking, “You want my life? You need it? Here.” He jumps into the air, and... (full context)