Song of Solomon

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The son of Solomon, father of Pilate and Macon Dead II, and husband to Sing. Though his real name is Jake, his legal name is Macon Dead I, because when he told a Freedman’s Bureau official that his father was dead and lived in Macon, the official mistakenly wrote “Dead, Macon” as his name. Macon Dead I was a respected man in his Virginia community, but a powerful white family, the Butlers, murdered him and took his land when Macon Dead II was a child.
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Jake Character Timeline in Song of Solomon

The timeline below shows where the character Jake 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
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman notices that Macon seems more relaxed and easy-going than usual. He asks how Macon’s father died. Macon remembers that his father, who was illiterate, was tricked into signing a contract... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
Racism Theme Icon
...the four days for the trip, he meets other men who remember Macon Dead and Macon’s father as powerful, successful men who overcame racism and poverty. They’re delighted to hear that Macon... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...dogs and preserve the house. Before Milkman leaves, Circe tells him Macon’s father’s real name: Jake. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
...son of Solomon,” and Milkman wonders if the song is a reference to his grandfather, Jake. The song continues, “Heddy took him to a red man’s house,” which Milkman concludes must... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
...interprets the rest of the children’s song, realizing that they’re singing about his own family. Jake, his grandfather, was the son of a man named Solomon, who seems to have loved... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 14
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman asks Susan about Jake, and Susan tells him that Jake married Sing, and may have traveled to Boston with... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...Heddy; he learns that Heddy was Susan’s grandmother, an Indian woman, who took care of Jake after Jake’s father mysteriously disappeared. Heddy later gave birth to Susan’s father, Crowell. Susan had... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
...to Africa, leaving behind him a wife and twenty-one children. Though he tried to take Jake with him, the young boy was knocked from his arms by some branches and Solomon... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Milkman pieces together Susan’s information and his own. Jake and Sing must have traveled to Boston but taken a wrong turn (no doubt because... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Milkman asks if Jake was a slave; Susan reminds him that no one in her own family was a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
...fly off and leave a body.” He shouts from the basement to Pilate upstairs that Jake wasn’t talking about the dead body in the cave; he was talking about his own... (full context)
The Power of Names Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Memory and Storytelling Theme Icon
Masculinity and Femininity Theme Icon
Mercy and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...an outcropping of two rocks from which Solomon began his flight to Africa, to bury Jake. After they’ve finished, Milkman wants to put a rock or a cross on the grave,... (full context)