Comparison Of Hills Like White Elephants 'And Sonny's Blues'

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The settings authors use for their stories play an important part in short stories by allowing the authors to express various moods, give insights into the thoughts of their characters, and use symbolism through contrasts in the settings. This essay will look at how the settings of "Hills Like White Elephants" and "Sonny's Blues" were used to reflect the characters' conflicts and emotions while also adding atmosphere and depth to the stories. The short story "Hills Like White Elephants," written by Ernest Hemingway, explores the complexities of human connections. This story follows a couple, Jig and "the American," as they face a major life decision: whether or not to have an abortion, which they refer to as an "operation" (Hemingway 701). …show more content…

The short story "Sonny's Blues," written by James Baldwin, centers around the complicated relationship between two brothers, Sonny and the narrator. The narrator learns to sympathize with Sonny's battles with drug addiction and becomes aware of the therapeutic effects of music as a way for Sonny to express his pain and find comfort through jazz. The settings in “Sonny’s Blues” help readers understand Sonny's struggles and the atmosphere of despair, as well as the battle to break the cycle of drug …show more content…

This can be seen by the narrator's concern for Sonny: “He’d always been a good boy, he hadn’t ever turned hard or evil or disrespectful, the way kids can, so quick, so quick, especially in Harlem. I didn’t want to believe that I’d ever see my brother going down, coming to nothing, all that light in his face gone out, in the condition I’d already seen so many others” (Baldwin 660). This was further proven by Sonny's friend: “Even though he was a grown-up man, he still hung around that block, still spent hours on the street corners, was always high and raggy” (Baldwin 661). The phrase "still" suggests that he has been engaging in this behavior from a young age and that it is a difficult cycle to break. However, the setting in Harlem is crucial not only because of its hardships but also for its cultural richness and deep connection to jazz, which are essential to Sonny as a musician. This becomes a form of artistic expression and a means of redemption for Sonny, specifically playing the piano, which reaches the narrator: “There was no battle in his face now, I heard what he had gone through, and would continue to go through until he came to rest in earth” (Baldwin 661). The artistic atmosphere of the setting enhances how art can be a powerful outlet for pain and

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