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
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Antigone has a dilemma. She must decide who she will side with when her uncle, Creon, chooses to disgrace her brother by enacting a law forbidding his burial. The city of Thebes faced a time of crises when two brothers fought for the ownership of the kingdom. One brother greedily breached an agreement to share the crown and instead took the power for himself; the deceived other launched a rebellion. Both brothers died in this conflict and Creon was left with the task of reconstructing the city.
In the play "Antigone", there are distinct conflicts between Creon and Antigone. Antigone beliefs of the gods in high reverence. She feels that the laws of the gods should be obeyed above all others, especially when it comes to respect to a family. Creon, on the other hand, feels that all should obey the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, or religious, stated otherwise. Regarding for the laws of the city this causes Creon to abandon all other beliefs.
This statement spoken by Antigone not only shows her loyalty to her brother and to her family, and despite the consequences, but none of that matters if it is right and it is holy. Therefore, Antigone’s motive for what she did was in true loyalty and compassion for her brother and
As the king of Thebes, Creon has the ability to do anything especially enforcing any law or commanding others what he wants, and ruling other people’s lives. Sophocles uses Creon to communicate that “excessive power or ruling” can be a harm or cause evil tendencies, instead of being beneficial by his actions towards his family and citizens. The power of Creon causes him to make an unjust law followed up by a harsh punishment, threatening the one who buries Polyneices with a death penalty. Antigone thinks that Polyneices deserves a proper burial. She asks “will you come?”(Sophocles, 31) to Ismene to come join her to the proper burial because “he is [her] brother, and he is [Ismene’s] brother, too (Sophocles, 32).
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin both describe the life of African American families in major cities following World War II. In both stories the two families are put at odds against one another because of the environment that surrounds them. In “Sonny’s Blues”, Sonny and his older brother, the narrator, are at odds because Sonny has fallen victim to the chaos of the Harlem streets. In A Raisin in the Sun, the Youngers’ are against one another because the family believes that they can escape the crowded space of their Southside apartment in their own ways. Through both stories the settings cause the characters to react in ways that fit their surroundings.
In an attempt to protect his brother, the narrator tells Sonny, "you know people can't always do exactly what they want to do" (263). The narrator can not come to terms with the fact that Sonny wants to become a musician and throw away better opportunities upon completion of school. In reality, Sonny was attempting to tell his brother he needed to get away from the streets and start anew. This conflict between characters really sets the tone for the story, but the reader doesn't find out this conflict until mid story. The lack of ability to see the other person's view causes much friction between the
By growing up with not just losing his father, but also his mother, Sonny faced many adversaries. By unable to fight off his hardships, he attempted to create a way to escape from his sufferings by using heroin and engaging in criminal activities. Sonny argues that all human beings, including the narrator, must suffer and each has his own ways to survive and Sonny’s thinks his was drugs. In the end he ended up in prison.
Both the narrator and Sonny have experienced upsetting events that have made them into who they are. Sonny was a drug addict that went to prison but found himself through music and the narrator broke his promise to his mother but restores the relationship with his brother, which renews the promise he had made. A moment of redemption happens in the story when the two brothers are saved during Sonny’s jazz show. For Sonny, his moment of redemption happens through the music he is playing. Although his brother thinks it is silly for him to be so involved in it, this is Sonny’s way of battling his demons.
In “Sonny’s Blues” the past Sonny lived exemplifies how a person can develop regardless of their past. Sonny writes a letter to his brother revealing his great sorrow and hopelessness “ But now I feel like a man who’s been trying to climb up out of some deep, real deep and funky hole.. ”(Sonny’s Blues” 78). Sonny and his brother reached many disagreements due to his poor life choices the consequence of this is that his brother isolated Sonny away from his life.
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 flaws ultimately shape Sonny’s character, his reserved feelings and silent demeanor isolate him from the world, but at the same time contribute to his aspirations and motivations by music.
In James Baldwin's short story, Sonny’s Blues, the reader should understand and visualize the historical context in order to understand the world being presented. The reader has to comprehend the harsh life of a male African-American who struggles with his dreams and drug addiction sometime around early 1957. I will discuss Baldwin's writing style, the life/value of an african american's life during this time, and the relationship between Sonny and his brother. Baldwin’s short story illustrates the hardships a person faces while searching for themselves in a world full of people or obstacles that stand in their way. Some of these obstacles are self inflicted, present from the beginning of their existence or appear as though they are random.
An underground world where Sonny feels part of a society and is unrestricted from established social norms. In addition, the author utilized the first-person point of view to narrate the story and to have a better opportunity to present to the readers a better image of how the actions, decisions, and mistakes of a person can indirectly affect others in their circle. In “Sonny’s Blues” the narrator told the story he knows, believes, and recall of his brother, Sonny, in addition to his own personal
Sonny’s blues uses light and darkness symbolism to elucidate on the painfulness of reality and the vigor gotten through it. Darkness is the fact that life in Harlem is dreadful, clouded with drugs, crime and societal discrimination. The tenacious society coaxes youth towards a life of murkiness. Sonny gets addicted to heroin while trying to unchain his musical innovativeness. He used music as his edifice, in this book he tries to escape towards the light and a life with thought drugs.
Sonny, the younger brother, becomes his older brother’s caretaker (Unger 59). However, “more effective than [Sonny’s] words, is his music.” (Unger 59). Sonny had a rocky relationship with his father, he hated school, and feels alienated from his brother (Albert). With no parents and painful gap between his brother, Sonny turns to drugs and runs into trouble with the law.
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. The narrator needs rescuing from himself. He hides behind a curtain of denial trying to protect himself from emotional reality. The narrator struggles to understand when and how Sonny began his troubles with drug addiction; he does not understand where he went wrong in being a role model for his younger brother. Now, years later the narrator is a school teacher who is trying to be a role model for the young boys in his class.