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A Critical Analysis Of Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

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In James Baldwin's short story, Sonny’s Blues, the reader should understand and visualize the historical context in order to understand the world being presented. The reader has to comprehend the harsh life of a male African-American who struggles with his dreams and drug addiction sometime around early 1957. I will discuss Baldwin's writing style, the life/value of an african american's life during this time, and the relationship between Sonny and his brother.

Baldwin’s short story illustrates the hardships a person faces while searching for themselves in a world full of people or obstacles that stand in their way. Some of these obstacles are self inflicted, present from the beginning of their existence or appear as though they are random. As Donald C. Murray has said in his article, “James Baldwin’s ‘Sonny’s Blues’: Complicated and Simple”, “Images of light and darkness are used by Baldwin… ( Murray 354)”. Also, Baldwin is able to tell a story that can make the reader visualize what is happening to this character Sonny, even though it is being narrated through the eyes and perspective of his older brother. He portrays the older brother as someone who can understand and recognizes the internal struggles of Sonny and be compassionate about them, even though the elder brother does not agree with all the life choices his brother has
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One will constantly face temporary conflict throughout life, but ultimately they can overcome through a will to on and pursue what makes oneself happy. Baldwin was able to create a picture in the reader's mind due to his personal relation to his characters, he was able to understand the harsh times for an African-American male. It also reflects on the care that siblings have for one another and how even though they have good intentions, they can't always help their loved one follow a positive
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