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.
Although both characters were different they found an understanding by trying to feel what each other were feeling. Also by coping with their tough childhood and feelings together without directly communicating. Sonny wanted so desperately to please his brother, but couldn’t find a way to avoid Jazz but still get that feeling he craved. Sonny was clearly disappointed and embarrassed by his choice of actions and despite what anyone said, he realized the choice he made was poor and it was time to follow his dream. At the end, the narrator realizes why Sonny turned to drugs in the first place.
This particular paragraph in “Sonny’s Blues” is incredibly important to the development and resolution of the story. At this moment, the narrator is watching his brother play the piano for the first time. He is overwhelmed by the sensations he receives from the music and also gains insight on his brother’s life. The narrator realizes that music is how Sonny expresses his feelings and how he copes with the struggles of everyday life. Without this paragraph, we lose the breakthrough moment the narrator has regarding his relationship with his brother.
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.
As said in the story “Some escaped the trap, most didn’t. those who got out always left something of themselves behind, as some animals amputate a leg and leave it in the trap” (Baldwin pg. 129). Both the narrator and sonny was able to escape the overpowering pull of Harlem in different ways. The narrator of the Sonny’s Blues was able to get out and he lived a happy life, having a family and a career while sonny got stuck and ended up doing drugs and eventually got himself arrested. The narrator was an algebra teacher.
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.
“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
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.
Losing two parents puts more of the responsibilities on the older brother to watch, take care of, and shelter his younger sibling. Each responsibility comes along has some type of obstacles that will create some setbacks. While Sonny was safe in jail his brother took the time to start a family of his own as an example for Sonny when he got out. Every bad decision that Sonny made had a counter effect on his brother.
In the story “Sonny’s Blues”, James Baldwin includes less obvious and more complex symbols than Hawthorne, which represent something greater. In Sonny’s Blues, readers learn the story of two conflicting brothers and their struggles to understand each other. The story begins with an unnamed narrator who reads in the paper that his brother Sonny has just been arrested for selling and using heroin. Reading this disbelief in the paper confirms his judgment that the darkness within the Harlem streets consumes the youth, who have no hope of making it into the light and prospering. He states, “I didn 't want to believe that I 'd ever see my brother going down, coming to nothing, all that light in his face gone out, in the condition I 'd already seen so many others.
He gets to see his brother in what I would think was his ‘place to lean’. While Sonny is playing away, he is surrounded, the narrator hears random ‘amen’ from the fellow musicians. “Sonny’s fingers filled the air with life, his life”, in this moment the narrator saw his brothers heartache, what he was going through, and would continue to go through until his life came to an end (Baldwin, 382). With his music Sonny was free, and so were those who cared to
How is darkness encountered by the narrator and his dear brother Sonny? Why does the narrator promise his mother this? Is Sonny like his uncle or the narrator like his father? In Sonny’s Blues the theme of light and darkness describes the problems the characters are facing with reality.