In this scene, the narrator is invited to watch Sonny’s musical performance at a nightclub, and eventually learns that redemption can be done through music as Sonny’s piano performance has a healing effect on his soul. He finally acknowledges and appreciates the beauty of Sonny’s music which he used to look down upon: “It was very beautiful because it wasn’t hurried and it was no longer a lament. I seemed to hear with what burning he had made it his, with what burning we had yet to make it ours, how we could cease lamenting. Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen that he would never be free until we did.”
Samantha Heller Blair English 1102 13 9/23/2016 The Language Barrier of Two Brothers “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, a story of two brothers who took two completely different paths in life. The older brother, both the narrator and a math teacher, who follows the rules, does not like the choice of Sonny, the jazz playing, and heroin addict younger brother. Most short story’s always have responses from others with opinions, James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues’ is no different. Keith Byerman literacy criticism, “Words and Music: Narrative Ambiguity in ‘Sonny’s Blues’”, is one of the many responses Baldwin received. I agree with Byerman that “Sonny’s Blues” is about the narrator’s lack of understanding towards Sonny, but would add that the story
This paper will analyze the conflict and whether it was resolved at the end of the story (Baldwin, 2010). The story is a first-person story that is narrated by Sonny ‘s brother who provides not only insight into their lives, but also the environment they lived in. The narrator addresses their storyline including the dark sides of his community although he does so with a lot of cautious. With the manner in which the narrator is narrating the story, it is clear that he has got some difficult time when he is expressing his ideas and emotions. The narrator writes after the death of her daughter where he is writing back to his brother.
There was an unspoken hate between them and he did not like the way Sonny carried himself or the people he was friends with. He blames this, and the way Sonny is living, on his music claiming, "his music seemed to be merely an excuse for the life he led" (83). The narrator did his best to mend his broken relationship with Sonny, but it only resulted in a fight and Sonny said that "he was dead as far as I [the narrator] was concerned" (83). The narrator was fearful that Sonny would be just like all the other musicians around Harlem and the surrounding cities. After the disagreement he did not talk to Sonny, even following the news his arrest, until after his little girl, Grace died.
Both the narrator and Sonny have experienced upsetting events that have made them into who they are. Sonny was a drug addict that went to prison but found himself through music and the narrator broke his promise to his mother but restores the relationship with his brother, which renews the promise he had made. A moment of redemption happens in the story when the two brothers are saved during Sonny’s jazz show. For Sonny, his moment of redemption happens through the music he is playing. Although his brother thinks it is silly for him to be so involved in it, this is Sonny’s way of battling his demons.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blue’s” makes great use of different literary devices throughout the story. The author utilizes conflict, symbolism, and the narrator’s point of view to give the story a deeper meaning and significance to the story. Sonny’s Blue’s is about an older brother’s relationship and differences with his younger brother, Sonny. Sonny’s ambition to become a jazz pianist points him into an opposite direction than his brother, and into a place where the common suffering is handled with drugs and music. The fundamental differences between these two brothers in their lack of understanding for each other and their gradual acceptance of one another, is presented and explained by their personal and social conflicts, what the symbolism casts upon the story,
When Daisy rejects Gatsby to stay with Tom, Gatsby is heart-broken; yet he refuses to let go of her. Nick states that “he was clutching at some last hope and I couldn’t bear to shake him free” (Fitzgerald 133). This shows his reluctance to let go of his obsession because, for years, he has centered his life around her. The next day, Gatsby remarks how he has not used his pool this summer. Then, right before his death, Gatsby breaks his old habits and “shouldered the mattress and started for the pool” showing that he is changing his actions and beginning to do new things (Fitzgerald 124).
This paper will analyze the elements of music told in “Sonny’s Blues” that connects and bonds the characters emotionally, physically and socially. “Sonny’s Blues” is a story that projects music as the voice of reasoning. According to the article, the first exposure to music exhibited as Sonny’s friend and the narrator approached a bar. The intriguing sound caused Sonny’s friend to look inside out of curiosity. As stated by Baldwin, “The jukebox was blasting away with something black and bouncy and I half watched the barmaids as she danced her way from the jukebox to her place behind the bar ” (pp.125).
The man 's death symbolizes a loss of hope in the boy, but a motive that pushes him towards living the rest of his life through the final wishes of his father. Through his grief at the loss of his best friend, the boy whispers to the spirit of his father, “I’ll talk to you everyday...I won’t forget. No matter what” (McCarthy 286). With the use of diction, McCarthy appeals to pathos as he hints to the omnipresent spirit of the man that encompasses the boy’s daily actions. He has come to terms with the fact that he must fight for his own survival and “then he rose and turned and walked back out to the road” (McCarthy 286).
This is a big step in every man’s life and because of the distance he felt with his father, he is hoping that when he becomes a father he does not lose that kind of closeness that he once had. This relates to his conflict of becoming the Pantaloon now because of the way he sees his father as a crazy old man who will tell non-stop lies as if he were to hustle his own friends at a carnival and he fears that he himself will turn out the same way. Will is in a constant battle of trying to figure out the truth in his father’s stories, but also trying to discover why his father is like this and it is taking a toll on him. With a newborn on the way for Will and Josephine, Will is trying to find closure so he can have a better understanding of how to raise their child. This is a proximal factor for Will because it involves the birth of his own son soon and also him being back home for the death of his father.