Sonny's Blues Essay

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“Sonny’s Blues,” written by James Baldwin discusses conflicts between two brothers in hopes of mending their relationship. “Sonny’s Blues” begins with the unnamed narrator reading a piece of paper with information regarding the trouble his brother Sonny has gotten himself into. The narrator has not been communicating with his brother during this period, but after the death of his two-year-old daughter Grace, he writes Sonny a letter. Once Sonny has been released, he goes back to Harlem to live with the narrator, and the narrator forces him into staying with his fiancé Isabel and her family because he believes Sonny deserves the opportunity to receive an education. Sonny makes it known to the narrator that he does not want to go back to school …show more content…

society is the third conflict that appears in “Sonny’s Blues.” Individual vs. society is defined as any conflict an individual is having with the society they are present in. Society is defined as living in a community with laws that are meant to not be broken even though they are broken daily. The story is taken place in Harlem, Manhattan which is a city known for having high jail and prison rates. During the stories time, Harlem’s prison carried over 70,000 prisoners each year, which recalled on close supervision. Belonging to a specific community means that laws cannot be broken regardless of the circumstances because the consequences followed can be extremely brutal. In “Sonny’s Blues,” it is present that society is not on his side because he has broken one of the laws by doing drugs. Doing drugs is one of the many ways an individual’s deals with certain situations because they are believing the drugs will take the pain away. They also believe that by doing drugs, it will leave them into having complete control of everything, but in reality, the drug is taking over which makes a person act out of character even though they believe they are at a normal state of mind. The readers can make the prediction that Sonny has a problem in his life and that the only way he believes that he can fix it is by going straight to drugs. Sonny believes that the drugs will make him forget about everything he is suffering with, but really it is only making his life worse along with getting him into a load of

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