The Importance Of Music In Sonny's Blues

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This particular paragraph in “Sonny’s Blues” is incredibly important to the development and resolution of the story. At this moment, the narrator is watching his brother play the piano for the first time. He is overwhelmed by the sensations he receives from the music and also gains insight on his brother’s life. The narrator realizes that music is how Sonny expresses his feelings and how he copes with the struggles of everyday life. Without this paragraph, we lose the breakthrough moment the narrator has regarding his relationship with his brother. 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…show more content…
Throughout the story, brief moments suggest an underlying religious tone to the story, such as the women singing on the street or the use of the word “amen” in this paragraph. The word “amen” means “so be it.” Baldwin has the other musicians put their faith in Sonny to carry the song and are willing to let the outcome be a work of faith. He also directly compares the scotch cup to the cup of trembling. In the bible, the cup of trembling is representative of all of the sufferings people faced. The bible states that the people will be delivered from this pain. The scotch is a physical manifestation of the cup of trembling, but I don’t believe it was intended to have the same meaning. It’s not the scotch that delivers Sonny from his burdens, but rather the piano. In this moment, the scotch and the piano work together to create the cup of
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