Addiction In Sonny's Blues

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How does someone become an addict? They tried something out, maybe to have a little fun, maybe to escape some reality. Then the high was so intense they decide to try it again. Perhaps they get to the point where all they want to do is feel that high. Eventually life becomes too dull, or just too painful to deal with, so they start itching for their next fix. Some get to the point where they trade anything for it. They give up their money, health, and even loved ones to feed that addiction. However that’s not where the cost ends. In Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin portrays the issues one has when coping with a loved ones addiction. The first step is recognizing the loved one has a problem. In the beginning of the story the narrator is struck by a report in the news paper. He said “I read it, and I couldn’t believe it, and I read it again.” (Baldwin 93). An addict attempts to keep their problems unknown and this was the first he had heard of his brother in ages. The narrator didn’t want to believe his brother had fallen down such a dark hole. He saw all the signs and odd behavior, but still convince himself nothing was wrong. When one loves another their faults are harder to find, one will ignore flaws in favor of viewing them in the best light. His blinding love kept him from seeing the path Sonny was headed down. “I hadn’t wanted to know” (93) he stated. He witnessed the steady spiral downwards but chose to ignore it. The sad reality is the more one loves, the blinder they

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