The brothers represent not only Baldwin himself, but their entire culture as well. Moreover, the blues express the battles, the condition and the rage that comes with being a black man in American society (Fares 72). The blues are a mutual understanding of suffering between every single person in the community; they are symbolic of the love that lets them bear the weight of the world in their shoulders with confidence because they know they are not alone. Baldwin wrote “Sonny’s Blues” to show that only an individual holds the power to accept their own suffering, and only when they come to terms with their pain, will they begin to understand the pain of those before them like the narrator did during his epiphany. In unison, they will set a framework for the generations that follow as they try to find a solution to their overall role in
Paul Pearshall once said “Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted”. In this story the conflict of responsibility takes place. A brother, who happens to be the narrator, blames his self for the events that takes place in his life, such as his brother sonny’s crack addiction. The Narrator feels responsible for his brother’s heroin addiction because he believed he shut his brother’s career goals down, felt as though he went against what his mother asked him to do, and because he chose not to believe that the way he treated his brother affected his brother life.
In “Sonny’s Blues,” James Baldwin wrote a different type coming of age story. At the end of the story the narrator finally develops a new understanding for his brother, and forgives him.
James Baldwin is a renowned author best known for his work of essays, books and short stories, particularly those which dwell deeply into important social and psychological issues of discrimination, gender inequality, homophobia and so on. One of Mr. Baldwin 's most appreciated literary works is the short story 'Sonny 's Blues ' which focuses on two brothers who grew up together but take different paths in life. The story follows the narrator learning about his brother Sonny 's incarceration due to the use and selling of drugs until his brother gets parole. Throughout the story, we learn about the relationship between the pair and are able to witness the narrators ultimate understanding of Sonny and his ambition. As we continue to observe the impressive short story, we find the most recurring theme to be that of sorrow. From the very beginning of the tale, the sorrow is palpable through the unnamed narrator 's discovery of Sonny 's incarceration, and moreover through the atmosphere created by Mr. Baldwin. The most prominent message that can be deciphered and recognized in Sonny 's Blues is that the sadness and sorrow that one experiences in their life can bring about many obstacles but it can be countered and used for something greater by a search for understanding and acceptance. James Baldwin establishes this implication through the use of his characters; the narrator, Sonny, and the singer seen on the street. All these characters experience sorrow and sadness in their
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story depicting the relationship of two brothers, Sonny and an unnamed narrator. The story takes place in the project of Harlem, New York in the early 1950s. The narrator is a high school math teacher. His younger brother Sonny is a troubled musician struggling with his addiction to drugs. Before their mother dies, she asks the narrator promise to her he’ll look after his younger brother when she is gone. Throughout the story he struggles to keep this promise. At the end of the story Sonny invites the narrator to come to a music club and hear him play, he accepts the invite. Upon arrival the narrator realizes he is in Sonny’s world. Hearing Sonny play only one set he is in awe and sends his brother a drink of scotch with milk. Sonny accepts it and gives a nod of approval to his brother across the room. In that moment the narrator finally understands Sonny’s love for music. Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” displays the theme of brotherly love to illustrate, that love can keep a family together no matter how many fights or issues there may be.
They both went through the same childhood, but handled it differently. The narrator was more mature and had set goals. While Sonny, fell into the depth of his feeling and influences. The narrator cares for his brother and feels as if he has failed him. While his brother feels like he could never truly explain anything to the narrator. Although both characters were different they found an understanding by trying to feel what each other were feeling. Also by coping with their tough childhood and feelings together without directly communicating. Sonny wanted so desperately to please his brother, but couldn’t find a way to avoid Jazz but still get that feeling he craved. Sonny was clearly disappointed and embarrassed by his choice of actions and despite what anyone said, he realized the choice he made was poor and it was time to follow his dream. At the end, the narrator realizes why Sonny turned to drugs in the first place. Sonny wanted his brother to see how Jazz made him feel and his brother saw that when he watched Sonny play. Sonny never wanted drugs, he wanted
Racism, a very horrible thing, still exists in the world we live in and those who are black will find it very hard to succeed in life due to the constant discrimination and the bad influence near them. A very good example for this is a short story called “Sonny’s Blue.” A short story about a 2 African Americans and how one leads a successful life while the other falls to bad influence and ends up in jail Black people had to face lot of problems before the segregation was ended. . Many people think the past remains in the past and doesn't matter today; the terrible acts of segregation, exploitation, and discrimination that were once upheld by the government are irrelevant now just because the present day isn't like that anymore. But the truth is that racism still exists
I chose to write my Response Essay on the story "Sonny's Blues" written by James Baldwin. In Sonny's Blues, the storyteller recounts the tale of his association with his sibling, Sonny. Sonny is a performer not able to get away from the ghetto. Disheartened by his sibling's suffering , the storyteller connects with him, yet discovers that Sonny's hurt powers his music. The narrator is a teacher in Harlem that has changed his life and got out of the ghetto where he grew up. He sees African American youths finding the points of confinement put on them by a supremacist society at the exact instant when they are finding their capacities. The narrator talks about his association with his more youthful sibling, Sonny. That relationship has traveled
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blue’s” makes great use of different literary devices throughout the story. The author utilizes conflict, symbolism, and the narrator’s point of view to give the story a deeper meaning and significance to the story. Sonny’s Blue’s is about an older brother’s relationship and differences with his younger brother, Sonny. Sonny’s ambition to become a jazz pianist points him into an opposite direction than his brother, and into a place where the common suffering is handled with drugs and music. The fundamental differences between these two brothers in their lack of understanding for each other and their gradual acceptance of one another, is presented and explained by their personal and social conflicts, what the symbolism casts upon the story,
For all the characters, Sonny was a son who helped his family and embraced his African heritage; these features were really considered and respected. Contrary to the narrator who melted or tried to melt in the American culture in order to survive, but the turning point occurred when he lost his daughter; so he recognize the pain of the others as well as his brother that he was forgotten during years ago. Besides, thanks to his brother’s music the narrator finds redemption. The evolution of the character’s trait moves from being a selfish person to a suffering man who finally finds peace deep inside himself.
Moving on to “Sonny's Blues” that is told in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed narrator who, we find out, is Sonny’s brother. The narrator in this story is an interesting figure. He’s mostly telling us Sonny's story, and this would seem to make him a peripheral character instead of a central one. But this is also his story. “Sonny’s Blues” is not just about Sonny's decisions and struggles but also about how they affect the narrator. This story is as much about family and brotherhood and the relationship between these two men as it is about the character of
What truly defines a brother? Is it the textbook definition of a male who shares the parents as you or does it go beyond that as defined by specific characteristics and qualities? In the short story, Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin, the theme of brotherhood is at the framework of this expertly told work as Sonny and the narrator subliminally realize how deep the term, brother truly goes. As with any story, there are specific moments or events in the plot which craft the universal themes of the work and allow for analysis of the more abstract purpose in the author writing that particular scene. Some will argue that these scenes in which aid readers in identifying universal themes of the work are pivotal in moving the work’s plot along. The death of the narrator’s daughter, Grace is a central part of the story because thereafter the narrator stays in contact with Sonny which was a pivotal point for the narrator of coming to the realization he needs Sonny as his brother.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” uses Sonny as an antagonist character to the protagonist, his eldest brother. While Sonny and his eldest brother both are the center of the stories content, Baldwin uses Sonny to represent a challenge to the narrator of the story. Through the rekindling of a brother’s relationships, Baldwin is able to depict Sonny's motivations and aspirations through his flaws, and the way in which his flaws affected his life.
Sonny’s Blues incorporates racial frustration, self-expression, avoidance, lightness/darkness and symbolic nature of music. Baldwins descriptive mental images gives readers a sense of the time frame the characters are in. With our understanding of the setting we are able to understand how life was like in the 1940s and why the theme of racism plays a factor in these characters lives. Through this short story Baldwin manages to show pain ,and hardships and the journey that is needed to transcend from
Doesn’t everyone need to be rescued sometime in life? The narrator in “Sonny’s Blues” struggles with his own identity and finding himself. He has a sense of insecurity and conformity to escape his past and where he comes from. The narrator finds himself focusing on his brother’s mistakes in life when in reality; he is questioning his inner insecurities. The narrator believes he must rescue his brother but realizes first he must find rescue himself. In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” the author uses Sonny’s struggle for a redeemed life to push the narrator toward the realization of his own need for rescue; through this realization, the narrator can find his identity and be free from his sadness.