Clark states in his article “James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues: Childhood, Light, and Art” that “…the narrator is seated “in a dark corner” ...in contrast the stage is dominated by light” (Clark). Clark shows by this that within the darkness that surrounds Sonny, music is a place of hope for him. Light is shown to effect Sonny in a different way than his Uncle. Light is shown to effect Sonny in a surrounding that would have been a place of comfort for him before his addiction. The narrator states, “…[they] were being careful not to step into that circle of light too suddenly…that if they moved into the light too suddenly… they would perish” (Baldwin 112).
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
a. How does Elie Wiesel reveal character in Night? Throughout Night characters are revealed directly. Elie’s observations, descriptions, and narrations show us character development. Methods utilized frequently are interactions between people, family bonds, descent into death, desperation for survival, indifference to the well-being of others, as well as generosity and selflessness to their fellow man.
As a matter of fact, the storyteller does not appreciate Sonny's motivations to play jazz music until the evening he socially joins Sonny to his stage show at a nightclub. Sitting in a dark corner at the nightclub, the storyteller listens to his brother play, considering the reminder of Sonny's friend, Creole, of what the Blues are about, "The tale, of the blues, how we live, and how we are delighted, how we suffer... and how we triumph... must be heard... it's the only light we've got in all this darkness." (Baldwin 139). For the narrator, he perceives that the Blues is the manifestation for Sonny's emotions, especially his suffering, because, as Creole would say, music is the only light in the
In this view of the passage, the sound of music increased the cultural cohesion between people. The music lured the characters into the bar acting as a social glue. Although the narrator appeared to have no real interest in entering the bar, the inviting present of the music felt welcoming and embracing enough to enter. Social gathering continues to be demonstrated throughout the story of “Sonny’s Blue” because of the hidden messages illustrated.
Sonny Blues Paul Pearshall once said “Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted”. In this story the conflict of responsibility takes place. A brother, who happens to be the narrator, blames his self for the events that takes place in his life, such as his brother sonny’s crack addiction. The Narrator feels responsible for his brother’s heroin addiction because he believed he shut his brother’s career goals down, felt as though he went against what his mother asked him to do, and because he chose not to believe that the way he treated his brother affected his brother life.
When the narrator accompanies Sonny to the nightclub to listen to him play his music; Sonny’s music portrays his wisdom as he plays about his brother’s frustrations with the trials and sufferings they both endured. Sonny’s artful playing of the blues opens the narrator’s heart to listen genuinely. If one listens to what lies on the inside that is the key to finding oneself. Joseph Flibbert states in the article “Sonny’s Blues” Overview, “In the music he hears, he sees his mother’s face, and that of his little girl … The powerful incantations of Sonny’s art reaches his soul, and for the first time, he listens to the dark voice within”.
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.
As Donald C. Murray has said in his article, “James Baldwin’s ‘Sonny’s Blues’: Complicated and Simple”, “Images of light and darkness are used by Baldwin… ( Murray 354)”. Also, Baldwin is able to tell a story that can make the reader visualize what is happening to this character Sonny, even though it is being narrated through the eyes and perspective of his older brother. He portrays the older brother as someone who can understand and recognizes the internal struggles of Sonny and be compassionate about them, even though the elder brother does not agree with all the life choices his brother has
There are many ways that symbolism is used to show things that are unique to each story that James Baldwin writes including “Sonny’s Blues”. The main symbolism surround music. One thing that it symbolizes is hope. Music gives Sonny hope that he can travel away from Harlem and those who doubt what he can do using blues music and his piano skills. This is not just used as symbolism in the story, but in what was really happening during this time.
“Sonny’s Blues” is not just about Sonny's decisions and struggles but also about how they affect the narrator. This story is as much about family and brotherhood and the relationship between these two men as it is about the character of
(European Graduate School) In Sonny’s Blues Baldwin shows both his influence of from Black people and drug addiction to the loneliness that situations create and how isolation occurs during troubling times. Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin is a story of struggle and redemption through others. James Baldwin uses the narrator the story from a first person point of view which leads to a sense of disorientation in the reader and contributes to the stories theme of forgiveness.
It also shows the dependence Sonny has on the piano and his addiction to the music. Sonny and the narrator finally come to a mutual understanding of one another in this scene. Baldwin’s diction and vocabulary choices contrast one another and ties back to a central theme of the story: dark vs. light. He chooses words such as “life”, “beautiful”, and “freedom” to represent the positivity of the music, but he uses words like “lurked”, “lament”, and “burning” to emphasize the negative vibes Sonny releases while he plays. The
The brothers represent not only Baldwin himself, but their entire culture as well. Moreover, the blues express the battles, the condition and the rage that comes with being a black man in American society (Fares 72). The blues are a mutual understanding of suffering between every single person in the community; they are symbolic of the love that lets them bear the weight of the world in their shoulders with confidence because they know they are not alone. Baldwin wrote “Sonny’s Blues” to show that only an individual holds the power to accept their own suffering, and only when they come to terms with their pain, will they begin to understand the pain of those before them like the narrator did during his epiphany. In unison, they will set a framework for the generations that follow as they try to find a solution to their overall role in
Thesis: Light is symbolic of realism or to put it cruder the ugly reality. Darkness is symbolic of fantasy or the fabrication created by characters. Introduction: Throughout the play and film adaptation of, A Streetcar Named Desire, we view the main characters progression throughout the thought provoking story.