Sonny's Blues Rhetorical Analysis

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Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin was a short story about the struggles of living in a tough, rundown neighborhood and looking to drugs as a way out. Baldwin’s intent on writing this piece focuses on pain and suffering. The author stresses that not everybody is born in the best circumstances. Sonny was one of those people who grew up in a rickety town where people often did not make it out successful. He tried so hard to get out of the poverty, violence, drugs, and gangs, but he became influenced by the wrong people and fell into heroin. Baldwin wanted the show the readers that people cope with pain and suffering in different ways. However, Sonny had a passion for music and wanted to become a jazz musician. This was also his way of coping with…show more content…
For example, the narrator talked about how Sonny stayed at his sister-in-law's house and played his heart out on their piano. This flashback showed his love for music anywhere he was. It helped him escape the pain he was feeling in Harlem and some of his responsibilities of school by staying home and playing. Baldwin also used stereotypes to get his message across. Harlem was not a friendly, rich, white town, so the fact that he chose this setting it made the reader automatically assume that these brothers did not grow up in a stable environment. The narrator described the very stereotypical gang members in Harlem being “filled with rage” and “popping off needles every time they went to the head” (Baldwin 123). Lastly, the change in the author's tone was very evident. The readers could notice when the narrator was talking about life in Harlem or Sonny’s drug abuse because it had a very bitter and cold tone. However, when Sonny was talking about his music the tone was hopeful and positive. Baldwin wanted to show that music was the one thing helping with Sonny’s pain. Heroin was only a temporary solution to numb his suffering, but music did no harm to let out anger, fear, and
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