“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin is a short story that has many significant parts to it. The narrator gives readers insight on how his relationship with his brother was like, how his brother was suffering from a heroin addiction. The narrator also gives the readers insight on his own problems. Due to Sonny’s heroin addiction, he suffered quite a lot as what was implied in the story. The narrator implies and describes so many themes in this short story.
“Sonny’s Blues” tells the story of two estranged brothers who lead very different lives with only one similarity: darkness. However, even the darkness was dissimilar, arising from the differences in their lives. Sonny found his passion in music, which he pursued despite his family’s disapproval, but his lifestyle led him to a drug addiction. On the other hand, his brother, the narrator, has an average life with a nice home and family. The narrator’s darkness comes from his inability to deal with emotions; he tells himself that he and the people around him have no suffering in their lives, despite the darkness being everywhere he looks.
Social mores are those unwritten rules that dictate how we act in public. They are the things that irritate the general public, like when a person is walking on the “wrong side” of the sidewalk. No law governs which side a person should use, but society expects that one would use the same as what they would drive. If a person enters an elevator and faces the back rather than the front, not only will it make others uncomfortable, but it will be uncomfortable for that person as well. In a similar fashion, attempting to go against the socially expected behaviors for one’s gender is uncomfortable to the point of avoidance.
James Baldwin, Sonny's Blues Lesson: Read 1. How does Baldwin's real-life experience connect to his short story, "Sonny's Blues"? Read Baldwin's biography for more background on his life. - James Baldwin’s real-life experience connects to his short story by demonstrating that in the story his father had passed away when he was a young age. In real life, he didn’t even know his father.
Demonstrating his love for music, it’s the only thing holding him together as his only purpose in life is creating music because his life in prison has changed him and he is unwilling to chase after any other goals besides music. While also displaying the literary device metaphor because the words, “shaken to pieces,” is an implicit comparison between each other. All in all, James Baldwin also develops metaphors throughout the duration of “Sonny’s Blues,” to tie in with his theme of suffering can lead to creation.
Baldwin gives us an alternative space of darkness. This reference of darkness being depicted by the Narrator is his connection that the nightclub and what it stands for is symbolic to all the things negative associated in Harlem. The Narrator associates Jazz music and drugs as one of the same. “The waitress ran around, frantically getting in the last orders, guys and chicks got closer to each other, and the lights in the bandstand, on the quarter, turned to a kind of indigo.” The narrators idea of darkness is changed in this scene.
Prompt #3: “ Sonny’s Blues” ( James Baldwin, 1957). In the story, the characters come in conflict with the culture in which he lives. Working Thesis: In my opinion most stories as conflict with one or more of the characters in the story, but how the characters deal with conflict will shapes the theme of a story and if they were to have done something different the theme would change or won’t change. When Sonny was about as old as the boys in classes had been bright and open, there was a lot of copper in it; and he’d had wonderfully direct brown eyes, and great gentleness and privacy.
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.
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.
"Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin is a harrowing tale about a boy's struggle to overcome his drug addiction. The central plot isn't the most relatable topic but Baldwin expands the plot by touching up on different themes that further explicates the story to the point where any reader can find a way to relate to the characters. The story is told from the first point of view of the brother of Sonny. The narrator states his account from the commencement of Sonny's drug use to his fall out. James Baldwin does not focus only on the central theme of drug abuse.