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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"Sonny's Blues" is a story about two brothers, Sonny and the narrator, who reconnect after years of separation. The story begins with the narrator on his way to high school, where he sees a newspaper about his brother Sonny who is arrested for heroin use. Sonny is a talented jazz musician and an addict to heroin. After his arrest, the narrator does not write a letter to his brother as Sonny's friend had advised her. However, after the death of his daughter Grace, who died of suffering from Polio.
The relationship between family members is hard to describe and very complex to be a part of, especially with estranged family members that are going through painful stages in their lives. James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" delves into this intricate idea of brother relationships with a narrator and his brother, who is seven years younger than him and addicted to heroin. In Baldwin's short story, the narrator is portrayed as a brother who treats Sonny as his child throughout his adolescence and his addiction. When "Sonny's Blues" begins, the narrator demonstrates a devastating attitude towards his brother. The narrator reads about his brother's arrest in the newspaper, which causes him to think about it all day, even going as far as feeling a
"Am I My Brother's Keeper?" : Addiction and Renewal in Sonny's Blues In James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues, we see themes of fraternal love and music as expression and liberation. The Brother, the narrator and Sonny, the main focus of the story, has their family struggling with accepting Sonny as an addict, grown and independent man, and a hopeful cause. We see these ideas repeat several times throughout the story.
The story tells the story of two sibling. Though attached to anguishing experiences and unpleasantly that makes people shun away from, pain and suffering can also bring good in people. ‘Sonny Blues’ begins by a brother narrating a story of his younger brother Sonny, a musical artist with a drug problem. Sonny feels like everyone is trapped. Therefore, throughout the story, sonny suffers both internally and externally trying to liberate the people around him.
That you shouldn’t let your living situations or surroundings determine your outcome. Sonny's Blues shows challenges that troubled the African-American community, and how drugs troubled the young artists and kept them bound like slaves. How those living in Harlem, felt like there was no escape to the poverty that surrounded them. How a young artist was overcoming his demons, with the support of his family and living out his dream. How one has to forgive and not let the past control one’s future, nor let the surroundings of your environment determine where you will go in
James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" analyzes a very complex relationship between the narrator and his brother, Sonny. Before directing to the attention of the relationship between these two brothers, we have to first understand the personality of each character. Initially, the narrator has a stable job as a hardworking math teacher and makes an effort to assimilate himself to his surroundings, but has never comprehended his brother, Sonny. Sonny is the complete opposite of the narrator. Sonny separates from his brother to become a Blues musician, though becomes addicted to drugs, such as heroin, in order to control his own feelings.
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.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story depicting the relationship of two brothers, Sonny and an unnamed narrator. The story takes place in the project of Harlem, New York in the early 1950s. The narrator is a high school math teacher. His younger brother Sonny is a troubled musician struggling with his addiction to drugs. Before their mother dies, she asks the narrator promise to her he’ll look after his younger brother when she is gone.
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin was a short story about the struggles of living in a tough, rundown neighborhood and looking to drugs as a way out. Baldwin’s intent on writing this piece focuses on pain and suffering. The author stresses that not everybody is born in the best circumstances. Sonny was one of those people who grew up in a rickety town where people often did not make it out successful.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” uses Sonny as an antagonist character to the protagonist, his eldest brother. While Sonny and his eldest brother both are the center of the stories content, Baldwin uses Sonny to represent a challenge to the narrator of the story. Through the rekindling of a brother’s relationships, Baldwin is able to depict Sonny's motivations and aspirations through his flaws, and the way in which his flaws affected his life. Sonny’s flaws ultimately shape Sonny’s character, his reserved feelings and silent demeanor isolate him from the world, but at the same time contribute to his aspirations and motivations by music.
In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” the author uses Sonny’s struggle for a redeemed life to push the narrator toward the realization of his own need for rescue; through this realization, the narrator can find his identity and be free from his sadness. The narrator needs rescue from his guilt of
Throughout the story of “Sonny’s Blues”, James Baldwin develops a theme that can still be related with today. The misunderstanding and lack of knowledge that the narrator experiences, about his brother, is something that many today feel, as their own family members are being prosecuted and they do not comprehend why. Within the story, there are numerous subtle ideas that are used to progress the story and theme along to the ending that is given. James Baldwin advances the theme of his story, that misfortune and anguish can be renovated into a unique art form, using characterizations, settings, and symbolisms. One of the main literary devices that is used to express the theme is characterization.
James Baldwin is a renowned author best known for his work of essays, books and short stories, particularly those which dwell deeply into important social and psychological issues of discrimination, gender inequality, homophobia and so on. One of Mr. Baldwin 's most appreciated literary works is the short story 'Sonny 's Blues ' which focuses on two brothers who grew up together but take different paths in life. The story follows the narrator learning about his brother Sonny 's incarceration due to the use and selling of drugs until his brother gets parole. Throughout the story, we learn about the relationship between the pair and are able to witness the narrators ultimate understanding of Sonny and his ambition. As we continue to observe the impressive short story, we find the most recurring theme to be that of sorrow.
In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” the author uses Sonny’s struggle for a redeemed life to push the narrator toward the realization of his own need for rescue; through this realization, the narrator can find his identity and be free from his sadness. The narrator needs rescuing from himself. He hides behind a curtain of denial trying to protect himself from emotional reality. The narrator struggles to understand when and how Sonny began his troubles with drug addiction; he does not understand where he went wrong in being a role model for his younger brother. Now, years later the narrator is a school teacher who is trying to be a role model for the young boys in his class.
James Baldwin tells the story “Sonny’s Blues” about two brothers fighting to find light in their dark world. They go through their lives walking down a tunnel full of black dejection. The narrator, the older brother, lives a minuscule, monotonous life in the shadows, while his younger brother, Sonny, is desperately searching for the daylight using his music and drugs. In the end, the narrator accepts the light of the candle Sonny managed to ignite while enduring the harsh winds blowing around him.