Baldwin portrays Sonny as feeling uncertain of where he belongs outside of his music and disconnected from the people around him. Sonny describes his disconnection as “… no way of getting it out—that storm inside” (p.
Doesn’t everyone need to be rescued sometime in life? The narrator in “Sonny’s Blues” struggles with his own identity and finding himself. He has a sense of insecurity and conformity to escape his past and where he comes from. The narrator finds himself focusing on his brother’s mistakes in life when in reality; he is questioning his inner insecurities. The narrator believes he must rescue his brother but realizes first he must find rescue himself.
James Baldwin is a renowned author best known for his work of essays, books and short stories, particularly those which dwell deeply into important social and psychological issues of discrimination, gender inequality, homophobia and so on. One of Mr. Baldwin 's most appreciated literary works is the short story 'Sonny 's Blues ' which focuses on two brothers who grew up together but take different paths in life. The story follows the narrator learning about his brother Sonny 's incarceration due to the use and selling of drugs until his brother gets parole. Throughout the story, we learn about the relationship between the pair and are able to witness the narrators ultimate understanding of Sonny and his ambition. As we continue to observe the impressive short story, we find the most recurring theme to be that of sorrow.
It is upon their reunion that the narrator, an algebra teacher, realizes how much his path has diverged from Sonny’s heartfelt blues. Yet, despite their different domains and interests, the narrator accompanies Sonny back to a bar and discovers the beauty of Sonny’s dream and the life contained within
In contrast, the narrator internalizes his feelings by repressing them as his father did after his brother passed away. As it was the relationship of their father and uncle, Sonny and his brother grew up in Harlem, a district replete with hopelessness and poverty. Yet each individual reacts to his environment in unusual ways. On the one hand, the narrator distances himself from his community in Harlem, including his brother Sonny. The narrator may love his brother but is in general judgmental of the direction of Sonny's life struggles and decisions.
Sonny Blues Paul Pearshall once said “Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted”. In this story the conflict of responsibility takes place. A brother, who happens to be the narrator, blames his self for the events that takes place in his life, such as his brother sonny’s crack addiction. The Narrator feels responsible for his brother’s heroin addiction because he believed he shut his brother’s career goals down, felt as though he went against what his mother asked him to do, and because he chose not to believe that the way he treated his brother affected his brother life.
In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” the author uses Sonny’s struggle for a redeemed life to push the narrator toward the realization of his own need for rescue; through this realization, the narrator can find his identity and be free from his sadness. The narrator needs rescue from his guilt of
The narrator keeps this in mind and tries to sway Sonny to a path he feels is right for him. Sonny wants to go into music however the narrator feels it would be
Throughout the story of “Sonny’s Blues”, James Baldwin develops a theme that can still be related with today. The misunderstanding and lack of knowledge that the narrator experiences, about his brother, is something that many today feel, as their own family members are being prosecuted and they do not comprehend why. Within the story, there are numerous subtle ideas that are used to progress the story and theme along to the ending that is given. James Baldwin advances the theme of his story, that misfortune and anguish can be renovated into a unique art form, using characterizations, settings, and symbolisms. One of the main literary devices that is used to express the theme is characterization.
Sonny’s letter written to the narrator in response to the news of the narrator’s daughter dying serves an important role in the story by reestablishing the relationship between the brothers and giving the reader insight into the misery that Sonny felt as a result of his actions. It is revealed to the reader that before the narrator had written his letter to Sonny, that the two had not been on speaking terms for a long time. After hearing of the news, Sonny wrote the letter back to the narrator which formally began their newfound connection to each other. It is revealed within the letter Sonny’s reasoning’s behind his imprisonment as well as the sadness he felt within. Sonny describes himself as “trying to climb up out of some deep, real deep
Through this conversation, the narrator gained respect and insight on Sonny's life in the times that he was not there. Sonny was cryptic in his speaking at first but eventually made it very clear to his brother and even said, "the reason I wanted to leave Harlem so bad was to get away from drugs" (89). The narrator does not have much to say, but ultimately blames all of this on the "vivid, killing streets of [their] childhood" (73), that neither of them had truly escaped. He once thought they both had, him by becoming a teacher and Sonny by simply not living in Harlem for years, but in this moment, he realizes that not much has really changed - they still faced those streets, the only difference now was that they knew what they inherit. Sonny convinced his brother to come watch him play - the narrator knowing he could not possibly say no.
Although both characters were different they found an understanding by trying to feel what each other were feeling. Also by coping with their tough childhood and feelings together without directly communicating. Sonny wanted so desperately to please his brother, but couldn’t find a way to avoid Jazz but still get that feeling he craved. Sonny was clearly disappointed and embarrassed by his choice of actions and despite what anyone said, he realized the choice he made was poor and it was time to follow his dream. At the end, the narrator realizes why Sonny turned to drugs in the first place.
The main themes in this story is suffering, anger and isolation. First, suffering is one of the themes because Sonny suffered a heroin addiction. “He had been picked up the day before, in a raid on an apartment downtown, for peddling and using heroin(Baldwin,123).” The narrator told how Sonny got arrested for selling and using heroin. This is a suffer for Sonny because he fell in the wrong path and started hanging around with the wrong crowd and ended up doing drugs.
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin was a short story about the struggles of living in a tough, rundown neighborhood and looking to drugs as a way out. Baldwin’s intent on writing this piece focuses on pain and suffering. The author stresses that not everybody is born in the best circumstances. Sonny was one of those people who grew up in a rickety town where people often did not make it out successful.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story depicting the relationship of two brothers, Sonny and an unnamed narrator. The story takes place in the project of Harlem, New York in the early 1950s. The narrator is a high school math teacher. His younger brother Sonny is a troubled musician struggling with his addiction to drugs. Before their mother dies, she asks the narrator promise to her he’ll look after his younger brother when she is gone.