Overall, this piece shows that encouragement and judgement can have both positive and negative outcomes. The narrator is able to change his attitude on life, about himself and Sonny’s relationship, and most importantly Sonny’s choices by listening to the music his brother played and loved. Accepting Sonny’s blues opened the narrator’s mind to a better life with his brother because he learned that suffering and dread can be transformed to beautiful music and a loving bond between brothers that cannot be
Sonny’s Blue’s In the short story, Sonny’s Blues, there is a troubled relationship between Sonny and his brother, the narrator. Sonny, a recovering drug addict, who has just been released from jail, and completely disowned by his family, has hit rock bottom. The narrator, on the other hand, is quite successful. He has a steady job as a teacher, a wife and two sons, all things he is proud of.
When he was younger his older brother didn’t approve of the idea of becoming a musician, which lead to Sonny’s drug addiction. However, the brother changes his mind when he sees Sonny play on stage and decides to support Sonny’s dream of becoming a musician. The main idea of this story is that not supporting a loved one’s dreams can lead to a life somebody’s loved one doesn’t enjoy or regrets. This paper will talk about the use of language in “Sonny’s Blues” and how it helps develop the main idea.
Rhythm of the Soul “Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't” (Depp). In some cases, music can convey people’s emotions, feelings, and thoughts stronger than words can. In James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues”, the narrator and his younger brother Sonny struggle with a communication barrier. Sonny can express his emotions by the language of music that his older brother, the narrator, has a difficult time understanding. The narrator, who is a stable school teacher, has a hard time relating to his younger brother and the other kids from their neighborhood, who became heroin addicts.
He knows the limits of being black and poor and wants to escape them. He tries to break free by moving out of Harlem and becoming a musician, but ends up in prison. While in prison, Sonny writes a letter to his brother saying, “I can’t tell you much how I got here…. I was trying to escape from something” (p. 127). Sonny wants to escape from drugs, the darkness, and Harlem to go to light of happiness, and redemption.
When Sonny played music he freed others from suffering, but only controlled his own suffering. At the end of the story Sonny invites the narrator to see him play. The bar was Sonny’s “kingdom” (43). The narrator was confused on why everyone was obsessed with Sonny’s music. The narrator realizes that Sonny helped others get free from suffering with his music, which is why everyone wanted to hear him play, and worshiped him (47).
Trying to get out of the city a few years earlier by joining the army like his brother, he returned to the place that he knew best, Harlem. However, unlike his brother who made something of himself, Sonny’s aspiration was to be a musician. Upset with Sonny’s desire, the narrator did not understand why Sonny wanted “to spend his time hanging around nightclubs” (Baldwin 1978). We can assume the narrator associates these types of establishments with partying, mischievous mischief and drugs; a common occurrence in a poverty stricken section of New York like Harlem. Though the narrator judges the nightclubs as a bad influence on Sonny’s survival, Sonny uses his music to escape the many obstacles he faces everyday as a poor black man in
The narrator wants Sonny to get a "professional" job like he did and conform to society. However, each character 's relationship with their sibling ends quite differently. In Antigone, Ismene is left alone after Antigone commits suicide, completely exiting from her society. In "Sonny 's Blues," the narrator goes to see Sonny perform and finally starts to understand why Sonny needs to play jazz. The narrator expresses, "I saw my mother 's face again, and felt, for the first time, how the stones of the road she had walked on must of bruised her feet.
He knows he has loyalty to Sonny, yet it takes him a while to get over his suspicion and give himself to offering Sonny his support, He’s upset that Sonny has picked a life that is not the same as his own, and doesn’t understand his brother and his views, they both don’t see eye to eye. He accuses the music for driving Sonny to heroin, and he tells Sonny how furious he is that Sonny appears to end his life by being someone who is addicted to the wrong things. Sonny gets upset that his brother is failing to reach out to him after his capture, for not accepting that individuals have typical methods for managing things, and for not understanding that being an artist isn't what altered Sonny into being a drug addict. Towards the ending of the story the narrator ends up seeing his brother play piano at a nightclub and it appears that he at last recognizes how gifted his brother is. However, most importantly, he additionally appears to see that music is a piece of Sonny.
James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues,” tells the story of two brothers living in 1950s Harlem. The story depicts the relationship of the brothers as the younger brother, Sonny, battles to overcome a heroin addiction and find a career in jazz. In “Sonny’s Blues”, Baldwin’s shifting portrayal of Harlem mirrors the changing relationship of the two brothers: while both the city and the relationship were originally with dark uncertainty, by the end of the story, the narrator has begun to find peace both within his surroundings and his relationship with his brother. At the beginning of the story, before Sonny returns to Harlem, the narrator never describes his surroundings, only the people in them.
In “The Coddling of the American Mind”, Lukianoff and Haidt’s discuss how college students have demanded for trigger warnings, warnings issued before a sensitive topic is discussed. Students are asking for this because they want to be exempt when it comes time to discuss such topics. While the authors believe that, providing students with trigger warnings causes them to become safeguarded from controversial topics, and will not benefit them in the future because they will be not be able to constantly avoid sensitive topics. Lukianoff and Haidt describe something similar when they provide the example of a woman who is afraid of elevators. They indicate that if you want her to prolong her fear you should help her avoid them, but if you want to