However, towards the end of the short story, the narrator comes to the conclusion that it was he who was in the darkness, in which Sonny helps him escape for a brief moment. In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues," the symbolic motif of light and darkness illustrates the painful nature of reality the characters face and the power gained in order to overcome it, thus thickening the plot and portraying the struggle between the two brothers. During 1940s through 1950s, a wave of immigration moved thousands of African Americans to Harlem, located in the northern section of New York, in order to escape the racial discrimination of their past down south, forming their own society. However, they could not
James Baldwin experienced two decades of successful writings in the mid-twentieth century, a time when racial tensions were high in the United States. Born in Harlem, Baldwin lived and adapted to the world of social and racial unrest; though most of us cannot understand these times, Baldwin shared through his writings the hardships many families endured. Baldwin reflects on this difficult time by writing a story titled “Sonny’s Blues”. This story is about two black brothers who are tormented with daily life and struggle to overcome the hopeless confines of the city. In this essay, I will discuss how poverty, drugs, prisons and death contribute to the inescapable boundaries of suffering.
In the story, "Sonny's Blues", the narrator, who is Sonny's big brother struggles with the best way to help his brother. Both were raised in Harlem and lived within poverty. The narrator used his childhood struggles as a stepping stone to better himself and become a teacher for a high school. While Sonny became one of the many teens who fell into the drug world of the streets. The narrator's biggest conflict, in my opinion, is why did Sonny turn down such a dark path and how can he help his brother without judging the lifestyle he chose.
In A Letter to My Nephew, James Baldwin, the now deceased critically acclaimed writer, pens a message to his nephew, also named James. This letter is meant to serve as a caution to him of the harsh realities of being black in the United States. With Baldwin 's rare usage of his nephew 's name in the writing, the letter does not only serve as a letter to his relative, but as a message to black youth that is still needed today. Baldwin wrote this letter at a time where his nephew was going through adolescence, a period where one leaves childhood and inches closer and closer to becoming an adult. Black children, especially males, are not afforded the same privilege of going through the period of making mistakes and growing that their white
Diamond Williams Professor Wolfe LIT2001 3 January 16 Fiction Analysis “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story written by James Baldwin that reflects on the ongoing struggles between failure and atonement amongst two brothers. The older brother who is also the narrator, gives us insight on the struggles in Harlem, and the life he had with his drug addicted younger brother, Sonny. As we follow the narrator, we later discover who Sonny really is. Published in the mid nineteen hundreds, the burdensome of living in Harlem in “Sonny’s Blues” reflects the life that James Baldwin endured. The narrator starts the story off by reflecting back to when Sonny was a young boy.
Sonny’s Blues, written by James Baldwin, is a story about the opposite lives of a troubled inner-city black teenager who struggles with addiction and the missing relationship with his brother. In the opening paragraphs it is apparent the brothers do not have a close relationship as the narrator says “He became real to me again” (Baldwin) as if Sonny is only an imaginative or elusive figure. While Sonny has a real and apparent addiction to heroin, for which he was incarcerated our narrator also struggles with an emotional imprisonment of his own. What can break the ice between our two characters and reunite the brotherly love which was lost so long ago? Imprisonment is a common theme throughout the story and we soon realize Sonny has been arrested and will be sent to prison.
James Weldon Johnson’s novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912) tells the story of young, gifted protagonist who figures out he has “negro blood” in him. Once he founds out that he is biracial, he denies his African heritage. He begins a journey to find out more on the topic of colorism in America. In both texts, there is a similar
The short story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin is about a young man whom is struggling in life. The narrator, who is unnamed throughout the story, and Sonny’s older brother tells the readers in depth about his brothers battle. In the late 1900s during poverty and systematic oppression, many African Americans were subjected to one specific area in modern day known as Harlem. Not only is story about discrimination African Americans faced, it is about two brothers gaining a better understanding on each others lives. Baldwin demonstrates that acceptance over a family member’s decisions can strengthen the bond between two estranged brothers.
Brian Fitzgerald, the father of Anna, Kate and Jesse Fitzgerald, is a firefighter and spends his days battling the fires, both real and symbolic, which destroy other people’s lives. Unfortunately, he is unable to fight the fires within his own life, and this leads to the destruction of his ability to save his family from the difficult situations they face. The Fitzgerald family’s medical and moral issues that stem from Anna being born as a medical donor for Kate affect each of the characters in different ways. In My Sister’s Keeper, fire is the mechanism used to symbolize these problems that the Fitzgerald family faces. Fire in a general sense is the combustion that occurs when fuel reacts with oxygen to release heat energy.