In the short story “Sonny’s Blues” the narrator Sonny’s brother talks about their life together and also the environment they live in. the title of the story is name after the brother of the narrator, it is through the narrator’s eyes about his brother Sonny. As a young African American male born in Harlem, sonny is aware of the limits and obstacles he faces. He struggles with the being around the same environment, so he decided by moving away from Harlem his problems will go away and he can start his career as a musician, unlike his brother the narrator has a wife, two children, and a good job as a teacher. The narrator talks about the drug dealing that happens in the playgrounds near the housing projects and of course his brother’s battle
Throughout the story Sonny’s Blue, there are many different symbols that represent different things, with the disparate functions. Light and darkness are the two universal symbols of Sonny’s Blues. Light has usually conveyed the goodness, hope, and purity of life. In the other hand, darkness performs for death, tragedy, and negativity. As light connects with darkness, it created an attraction for the readers. Additionally, music is a conventional symbol that brings happiness to Sonny, the main character in the story.
“Sonny’s Blues” is a short story written by James Baldwin that reflects on the ongoing struggles between failure and atonement amongst two brothers. The older brother who is also the narrator, gives us insight on the struggles in Harlem, and the life he had with his drug addicted younger brother, Sonny. As we follow the narrator, we later discover who Sonny really is. Published in the mid nineteen hundreds, the burdensome of living in Harlem in “Sonny’s Blues” reflects the life that James Baldwin endured.
Sonny’s letter written to the narrator in response to the news of the narrator’s daughter dying serves an important role in the story by reestablishing the relationship between the brothers and giving the reader insight into the misery that Sonny felt as a result of his actions. It is revealed to the reader that before the narrator had written his letter to Sonny, that the two had not been on speaking terms for a long time. After hearing of the news, Sonny wrote the letter back to the narrator which formally began their newfound connection to each other. It is revealed within the letter Sonny’s reasoning’s behind his imprisonment as well as the sadness he felt within. Sonny describes himself as “trying to climb up out of some deep, real deep
How does Baldwin's real-life experience connect to his short story, "Sonny's Blues"? Read Baldwin's biography for more background on his life.
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.
As soon as the narrator is reunited with Sonny, he begins to fully describe his surroundings. At this point in the relationship, the narrator is excited to see his brother, but extremely scared for both Sonny’s future and the future of their
Using his writing as a form of self-expression, James Baldwin, an African American author, spent his life seeking to reveal the cruel reality of African American men. “Sonny Blues” Baldwin’s short fiction, was published in 1957 and takes place during the Harlem Renaissance. The literary work tells the story of Sonny and his brother (an unnamed narrator), as they seek to understand how to navigate the delicate and dangerous waters of familial relationships, their role in society and themselves. However, it is not until the end of the story when Sonny’s brother narrates the powerful, melodic sound of Sonny’s blues that he acknowledges his own pain. It is during his epiphany, when he finally begins to understand Sonny’s pain and the pain of every generation who came before him and after him. Baldwin’s acknowledgement as he declares, “I knew, no matter what anybody said, that the future I faced, was not the future they faced”
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.
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin was a short story about the struggles of living in a tough, rundown neighborhood and looking to drugs as a way out.
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.
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.
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
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,
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