Power And Control In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

1373 Words6 Pages
In modern-day life people often have their ups and downs of having power and losing it all. This is a key element in life, which is why many art forms choose to use it as their basis of writing. Literature often shows power and powerlessness through heroes and villains. However, author James Baldwin brings the battle of having and losing power through ordinary people’s life experiences. In the short story, Sonny’s Blues, written by James Baldwin examines the idea of how the desire to have power or control leads to having no power at all through the plot, characters, and setting. Baldwin uses the plot line to show the effects of how wanting power or control can destroy ones relationship. The narrator in the story reads an article about his brother, Sonny, who has gotten into trouble with drugs. He thinks back to when Sonny and himself were growing up. His mother told him a story about his father and made him promise to never “let [Sonny] fall…no matter how evil you gets with him” (Baldwin 442). The narrator keeps this in mind and tries to sway Sonny to a path he feels is right for him. Sonny wants to go into music however the narrator feels it would be…show more content…
Every time the narrator attempted to control what his brother wanted to do in life, the more he lost power over his brother. Not only did he lose power he lost that deep connection one should have with their sibling. Sonny’s desire to not be powerless anymore gave him the determination to gain power which he could not handle. This lead him to lose all of that power once again. People when reading this should really consider how what they are doing to gain power is affecting others in theirs lives. Having power is a big responsibility and people in society need to find the right balance of control or risk losing everything they have, even the ones they
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