Sonny's Blues Character Analysis

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In the story, "Sonny's Blues", the narrator, who is Sonny's big brother struggles with the best way to help his brother. Both were raised in Harlem and lived within poverty. The narrator used his childhood struggles as a stepping stone to better himself and become a teacher for a high school. While Sonny became one of the many teens who fell into the drug world of the streets. The narrator's biggest conflict, in my opinion, is why did Sonny turn down such a dark path and how can he help his brother without judging the lifestyle he chose. Although, this is not the only conflict in the story. Not only does the narrator struggle with helping his brother but he also blames himself for Sonny's outcome in life. He promised his mother to look after Sonny when she passed because "he ain't going to have nobody to look out for him" (259). The narrator seems to take on the responsibility of Sonny's fallen actions because he was off in the Army and left Sonny with Isabel's parents.

However, there are more than one character in this story. Sonny struggles internally with the pull of a drug addiction. While at Isabel's parents house he used music as much of a release as he could, but that didn't help fully. To him heroin was an outlet because it made him feel alive and eased his
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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
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