Sound In Baldwin's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Sound is embodied in the black body whether it be in everyday conversation, intimate exchanges with a loved one, heart wrenching calls, or music rendered from the soul. Sound is essential to living beings as both a primary and secondary sense used to interact with the world. Sound enables communication. Communication creates community. Community leads to emotional connections and understanding. The use of sound enables one to connect with their spiritual side as seen in the muck. Sound gives power, and the ability of black characters to control the sounds they create in Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God and Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” enables them to attain the ultimate happiness and sense of belonging in their communities. The ability to speak is important. When speech is controlled and withheld by a higher body of power, a loss of power occurs. In Hurston’s Their Eyes were Watching God, this occurs when Joe Starks places Janie on a pedestal above…show more content…
Before the narrator gets married his mother asks him to help Sonny “and don’t let him fall, no matter what it looks like is happening to him and no matter how evil you gets with him” (Baldwin, 165). Yet time brings memories to a close and the narrator soon forgets his promise. On the subway he reads the paper to discover that Sonny was in jail but doesn’t immediately write him a letter. After the narrator’s daughter, Gracie, dies he writes a letter to Sonny. Sonny writes back and they continue to exchange letters until Sonny comes back to New York. It is upon their reunion that the narrator, an algebra teacher, realizes how much his path has diverged from Sonny’s heartfelt blues. Yet, despite their different domains and interests, the narrator accompanies Sonny back to a bar and discovers the beauty of Sonny’s dream and the life contained within
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