Father And Son Relationships In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

521 Words3 Pages

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. In contrast, the narrator internalizes his feelings by repressing them as his father did after his brother passed away. As it was the relationship of their father and uncle, Sonny and his brother grew up in Harlem, a district replete with hopelessness and poverty. Yet each individual reacts to his environment in unusual ways. On the one hand, the narrator distances himself from his community in Harlem, including his brother Sonny. The narrator may love his brother but is in general judgmental of the direction of Sonny's life struggles and decisions. For this reason, Sonny feels …show more content…

As a matter of fact, the storyteller does not appreciate Sonny's motivations to play jazz music until the evening he socially joins Sonny to his stage show at a nightclub. Sitting in a dark corner at the nightclub, the storyteller listens to his brother play, considering the reminder of Sonny's friend, Creole, of what the Blues are about, "The tale, of the blues, how we live, and how we are delighted, how we suffer... and how we triumph... must be heard... it's the only light we've got in all this darkness." (Baldwin 139). For the narrator, he perceives that the Blues is the manifestation for Sonny's emotions, especially his suffering, because, as Creole would say, music is the only light in the

Open Document