Sonny's Blues And Antigone Comparison

1062 Words5 Pages
When one thinks of the "Good Life", one typically thinks of the end goal: a happy life. However, pursuing the "Good Life" contains many obstacles that can either break you or make you stronger. In "Sonny 's Blues" and Antigone, there are characters that struggle with having different values from others, representing a conflict between individual and society. These stories have characters that put themselves first, and because of this they suffer consequences. While Antigone and "Sonny 's Blues" have very different plots, the tension shown in them between individual and society is extremely similar. To begin, Antigone put her own values above society 's rules set by Kreon. When she expresses her plan to bury her brother, Ismene says,…show more content…
First, Antigone and Sonny both have troubled relationships with their siblings. Both of them represent an individual and their sibling represents the society they oppose. Antigone argues with Ismene over her need to properly bury her brother and uphold ancient Greek tradition. Ismene, however, feels they must respect Kreon 's spoken law and tries to convince her sister to follow, saying, "I shall obey those who are in authority, for deeds that are excessive make no sense at all" (Sophocles, lines 67-68). Sonny wants to follow his dream of playing jazz music, but his brother is convinced that it is a bad choice and that it is leading him down a bad road of drug abuse. The narrator wants Sonny to get a "professional" job like he did and conform to society. However, each character 's relationship with their sibling ends quite differently. In Antigone, Ismene is left alone after Antigone commits suicide, completely exiting from her society. In "Sonny 's Blues," the narrator goes to see Sonny perform and finally starts to understand why Sonny needs to play jazz. The narrator expresses, "I saw my mother 's face again, and felt, for the first time, how the stones of the road she had walked on must of bruised her feet. I saw the moonlit road where my father 's brother died… I saw my little girl again and felt Isabel 's tears again, and I felt my own tears begin to rise" (Baldwin, 148). He feels an…show more content…
Antigone and Sonny inflict consequences upon themselves for not conforming to their society. Antigone hangs herself in order to take power away from Kreon. After finding out what Antigone has done, Kreon says, " 'What deed is this you 've done, bold wretch! What came into your mind? By what disaster did you lose your wits? Come out, my child, I beg you as a suppliant! '" (Sophocles, lines 1228-1230). Kreon 's use of the word suppliant shows how he feels subordinate to Antigone in this moment. In "Sonny 's Blues," Sonny uses heroin to cope with his past and how he feels misunderstood now, saying "Her voice reminded me for a minute of what heroine feels like sometimes-when it 's in your veins. It makes you feel sort of warm and cool at the same time. And distant. And-and sure. It makes you feel-in control. Sometimes you 've got to have that feeling" (Baldwin, 142). Sonny reverses his negative consequence, though, and begins to play more with his brother 's support. Obviously, Antigone 's consequence cannot be reversed, but she does affect her community positively depending on how you view it. Although her death leads two more to end their lives, she gets the last laugh on Kreon; she strips him of his family so he would feel like she

More about Sonny's Blues And Antigone Comparison

Open Document