Light And Darkness In Sonny's Blues Essay

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The negativity of light and darkness in Sonny’s Blues magnifies the suffering in the community of Harlem and reveals the how everyone, child and adult are touched by the suffering. While the narrator was reminiscing about his mother and family when they used to sit in the living room, he noticed the darkness in the night. He saw the darkness fill the silence and hoped that he won’t be touched by darkness one day (19). Baldwin wrote, “Light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness, He knows that every time this happens he’s moved just a little closer to that darkness outside” (19). The light revealed the suffering in Harlem to the child which in turn filled the child with darkness and pain. They can’t escape Harlem because of racism,…show more content…
While Sonny and the narrator were in the apartments after the revival meeting on the corner, they started talking about the music. Sonny mentioned that the voice of the lady singing reminded him of heroin. Sonny said, “ It makes you feel-in control, Sometimes you’ve got to have that feeling” (38). Just like heroin music made Sonny feel in control. Heroin was a more destructive way to control the suffering, but Sonny found he could control suffering with music instead. When Sonny played music he freed others from suffering, but only controlled his own suffering. At the end of the story Sonny invites the narrator to see him play. The bar was Sonny’s “kingdom” (43). The narrator was confused on why everyone was obsessed with Sonny’s music. The narrator realizes that Sonny helped others get free from suffering with his music, which is why everyone wanted to hear him play, and worshiped him (47). At the end of the first set of songs Sonny is sitting on stage drinking from the “Cup of trembling” (48). Basicly, Baldwin biblical allusion is saying that Sonny is drinking from a cup full of suffering and pain, but he is doing it with control, making him not really suffer. Sonny learned how to control the suffering with his music inturn freeing others. Sonny learned to tame his suffering, while giving others peace from their own, through
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