Childhood In Sonny's Blues

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Childhood is ideally a time of happiness, and therefore, it is not too far-fetched to assume that children should be vibrant and happy individuals who should spend their time laughing, playing and learning as they grow up. However, while some children do get an opportunity to have happy and fulfilling lives, there are others who live their lives overwhelmed by feelings of anger, fear, resentment, and insecurity. These powerful emotions may stem from a number of things that are not directly in their control – including the financial or emotional conditions of their parents, their cultural and social circumstances, abuse by parents or peers and much more. This paper argues that childhood experiences have a deep and profound effect on children,…show more content…
Sonny comes from a middle class black family, where his older brother is a teacher and an army veteran. The fact that the older brother had a seemingly happy and well balanced childhood does not mean that Sonny has had a happy childhood too. In fact, because of some circumstances beyond anyone’s control, Sonny is denied a fatherly presence in his life. Sonny’s father maintained his distance from the young boy because Sonny reminded him of his own young brother who had died at an early age. Sonny’s elder brother joined the army and therefore could not act as a responsible father figure to the young boy who desperately needed some love and attention during his adolescence. As a result of such filial neglect, Sonny turned to drugs – something that was unimaginable for his family especially because Sonny seemed to be a quiet and bright young boy. Still, the neglect that he faced in his family caused him to seek comfort and acceptance in the company of other people who eventually led him astray and made him an addict. Gerhardt’s study points to the critical role of live, affection and attention in a child’s infancy and how a secure and affectionate environment at home can help a child develop into a happy and responsible adult. Gerhardt points out that a lot of childhood and adolescent behaviors – such as aggression, depression, hyperactivity and poor academic performance can be traced back to the family inputs received as a baby. Children’s future lives are largely shaped by their experiences in babyhood. According to the WHO, many challenges in the modern adult society, including mental health conditions, social competence and criminality, have their roots in early childhood and therefore, parents have to ensure that enough investment is made into the child’s formative years (Britto, Engle and Super, 81). This again points to the fact
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