Light And Dark Symbolism In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

692 Words3 Pages
When an author uses symbolism, a dove can symbolize peace, and a black bird can be the picture of death. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities in a story through motions, words and objects. It evokes a spark in the reader to give them an opportunity to get an insight of the writer’s mind and how they view the world. Symbolism works together with other writing tools to create a deeper meaning in a story like Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin. Baldwin created a big picture with little symbols that he worked in throughout his story. Baldwin uses the effect of light and dark symbolism in the story to help portray the emotions and feelings that help the reader connect with the story. Light appears in many forms throughout Sonny's Blues from moonlight, to a spotlight, and even the absence of light. When Sonny and the narrator’s mother tell them about how their uncle passed away, she recalls a moonlit night and a moonlit road. She reveals a family secret to her son, the narrator, in that moment about their uncle that he never knew anything about. At the club while Sonny is playing, the narrator experiences a sort of revelation when the…show more content…
The dark moments in the story can help readers to emotionally connect with it because it may be something they have experienced or something they have seen someone else experience. Darkness appears just as many times throughout the story like, “All they really knew were two darknesses, the darkness of their lives, which was now closing in on them, and the darkness of the movies, which had blinded them to that other darkness…” (139). Sonny’s life in prison, his addiction to drugs, and the general state of life in Harlem are all things that the darkness controls. The darkness practically haunts the figures in the story once the sun goes down. Representing a roster of personal and social problems, darkness is found
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