I chose to write my Response Essay on the story "Sonny's Blues" written by James Baldwin. In Sonny's Blues, the storyteller recounts the tale of his association with his sibling, Sonny. Sonny is a performer not able to get away from the ghetto. Disheartened by his sibling's suffering , the storyteller connects with him, yet discovers that Sonny's hurt powers his music. The narrator is a teacher in Harlem that has changed his life and got out of the ghetto where he grew up.
As we continue to observe the impressive short story, we find the most recurring theme to be that of sorrow. From the very beginning of the tale, the sorrow is palpable through the unnamed narrator 's discovery of Sonny 's incarceration, and moreover through the atmosphere created by Mr. Baldwin. The most prominent message that can be deciphered and recognized in Sonny 's Blues is that the sadness and sorrow that one experiences in their life can bring about many obstacles but it can be countered and used for something greater by a search for understanding and acceptance. James Baldwin establishes this implication through the use of his characters; the narrator, Sonny, and the singer seen on the street. All these characters experience sorrow and sadness in their
The short story “Sonny’s Blues” was written in 1957. It tells the story of two brothers who each go down very different paths in life. Set in Harlem, New York in the early 50’s, the story is narrated by an unnamed man. Throughout the story, various characters are introduced, as well as various types of suffering. The different types of suffering in the story ranges from drugs to death.
Baldwin 's "Sonny 's Blues" and Hurston 's “How it feels to be Colored Me" both take a captivating look at how jazz music portrays such an important role in the lives of these characters and their journey through unyielding times of change. In this essay, I will be dissecting the lives of Sonny from “Sonny’s Blues” and Zora from “How it feels to be Colored Me” and the significance that jazz music has played in each of their lives. James Baldwin 's "Sonny 's Blues" begins with the narrator on the subway reading his brother 's name, Sonny, splashed across the morning paper. It had been heroin that got Sonny arrested. Throughout sequins of cascading events, the narrator and his brother Sonny will reveal the differences between the two of them.
Introduction First published in 1957, Sonny’s Blues written by James Baldwin is a prose of two brothers. Sonny, the younger one, is a rebellious jazz musician who turns out to be a drug abuser, while the narrator, the elder brother, is a conservative mathematics teacher in Harlem. He, the narrator, refuses to understand Sonny whose life is distorted by imprisonment. In this way, Baldwin developed the major topic of music, the cornerstone of African American culture, alongside with the themes of brotherhood and salvation. How music develops the plot of the story Music is a leitmotif in Sonny’s Blues, which reflects and creates a new structure of music and drama (Bribitzer-Stull, 2015).
Combining a love for music and a personal history of racism, segregation, poverty and drugs in 1940’s Harlem, James Baldwin tells a story about Sonny, a blues loving composer with a dark history, living in Harlem in the early 1900’s. In the story “Sonny’s Blues” we meet the narrator and his brother and learn about the hardships of their lives, including the loss of their parents and a lifelong struggle with heroin addiction. As Sonny grows up in a racial charged borough of New York City he learns how to play the piano and channels his loss and suffering into music that provides an escape for others. Baldwin utilizes symbolism, flashbacks and antithesis to propose the idea that people can get through the trials and tribulations of life by being their brother’s keeper and looking out
Imprisonments oppress us in a very impacting way and it isn’t until we break free that we can finally breathe. Sonny as a teen had his goal on becoming a jazz
Sonny’s Blues In James Baldwin’s short work of fiction, Sonny’s Blues uses symbolism to interweave the darkness and light throughout the story. The light symbolizes the positive aspect of living life in Harlem while the contrasting darkness represents the negative aspect of Harlem life. Baldwin uses darkness and light to symbolize different aspects of the story and to also represent the characters highs and lows throughout their lives. Many of the characters in “Sonny’s Blues” face battles within themselves. The characters fight the battle of trying to keep the light shining inside and to not let the darkness inhabit them.
Blues of hopes engages mainly with James Baldwin’s short story Sonny's Blues. In Sonny's Blues, the author depicts essentially two characters, two brothers: the first one who gets lost in his illusion of relative social success and the other, who is trying to find his way outside the box. Like Sonny's Blues, Blues of Hope tries to engage the reader in the risky attempt the find, not only another way, but also a better way outside our common social life, our traditional perception of life and our social success standard. Blues of Hope might be considered, firstly, as a monologue reflecting the state of mind of a suffering person, like sonny's brother who is in a personal quest for salvation. A real intimate monologue, whose beginning has the
These issues are presented in James Baldwin’s work, where he displays suffering, particularly for the blacks in America. The themes portrayed in his work, reflect what he has endured from a young boy to an adult. “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story that the narrator gives of a brother called Sonny, his quest to understanding himself, as well as things that shape his decisions in life (Miller & Quentin 33). The same issues highlighted in the story through the character Sonny, precisely illustrate what James Baldwin encountered. Therefore, one may see the short story as a way for him to turn his life into a piece of literature.
King and Stephen G. N. Tuck. It explores the deplorable state of racism in the southern states of the USA during the late 19th century and early 20th century, and the efforts of one man to fight it. One of the most prominent African-American leaders of that period was a man called Thomas Fortune. Once a slave in the South, Fortune was too aware of America’s race problem. In 1879, he left the south and moved to New York where he became an editor of several African-American newspapers.
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
My next and final topic that I chose is The Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was rooted in the struggle for black civil rights. During and about right after WWI, in a phase of the Great Migration, some half a million African Americans moved from the rural South to the cities of the North. Most people moved in hopes of escaping the poverty and the oppression of Jim Crow Laws. They encountered racist hostility nearly as bitter as they experienced in the South.
Sonny’s blues consist of everything the character Sonny went through during his life. Sonny and his brother, who are both African American, grew up in Harem, New York during the mid-1900’s. Because of this, Sonny had a difficult life. He found drugs at a young age and became a heroin addict and seller. He wanted to become a musician however his brother did not approve of his choice and when sent to live with his brother’s fiancé, found that they only endured his piano playing and found him a burden.