Summary Of Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

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James How does Baldwin's real-life experience connect to his short story, "Sonny's Blues"? Read Baldwin's biography for more background on his life.
James Baldwin lived in Harlem, as Sony did in the story. Baldwin felt that he had to leave the United States to get away from discrimination against African Americans. Sonny in the story became dependent on drugs and felt more normal when he was using them than when he was not. The main reason Sonny wanted to leave Harlem so bad was because he was trying to get away from using drugs. Ultimately Baldwin and Sonny were both leaving to escape from something.

In the final scene, Sonny performs some improvisational jazz. What is improvisational music? What do we learn about Sonny through his performance?
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Though mostly everyone can relate jazz to its common stereotype of the musician’s possibility of abusing drugs I feel like that is the only significance. The elements of this story that are most important are the understanding of suffering, forgiveness, and redemption.

Compare and contrast the characters of the two brothers in "Sonny's Blues." What sort of person is the narrator? How does he feel about his brother? What do we know about Sonny and his feelings for his brother? Explain.
The narrator is a hard working teacher who has had to struggle to get to where he is currently at in life but didn’t let much get in his way. He greatly cares for Sonny and only wants the best for him. He feels that Sonny is throwing his life away. He sees Sonny as a drug abuser who has messed up countless opprutinites and becomes very unpatient with him until he finally start understanding him. Sonny looks up to his brother and relies upon him. Sonny feels like his brother is only upset with him because he chose a different path than him but the real reason was that he was abusing drugs. After finally meeting in the middle Sonny realizes why his brother may have been so hard on him and both Sonny and his brother find a new respect for one
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