The Struggle In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

894 Words4 Pages

In the story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, conflict, setting, characterization, point of view, language, and tone are used creatively and intelligently to give the reader an emotional rollercoaster from reunitment, to abandonment along with the feeling of mournfulness. The story begins as a narrator, an algebra teacher at a local high school in Harlem, reads of his brother’s arrest for selling and use of heroin. He is immensely disturbed. The slightest thought of his brother reminds him of his students, who face limited possibilities growing up in the hostile place that is Harlem. At the end of the day the narrator is met at the gate of the school by one of Sonny’s old friends, a fellow addict of his that would always be a part of something …show more content…

After his daughter's tragic death the narrator finally writes to his brother Sonny and the two develop a correspondence. When he is released, Sonny returns to Harlem to stay with the narrator. The narrator reminisces about the brothers' past. He recalls the promise he made to his mother to look after Sonny. He had kept this promise in mind when he returned for her funeral. Despite Sonny’s pleas, he forced his brother to move in with his then-fiancée Isabel and her family. Sonny eventually ran away to join the military after being confronted by Isabel’s mother for missing school. James Baldwin uses all six of these aspects to give the reader an amazing story that demonstrates that people no matter how hard things are for them or how “bad” and “un-educated” they seem to be, there is always a deeper person with incredible talents and …show more content…

In the midst of the tragic news of sonny’s being arrested the narrator is filled with so many emotions. But at the first thought of being arrested for heroin ones first thought is where does he live? Or what kind of people is he with? James Baldwin uses a great amount of detail when describing the scene of “Downtown Harlem” or “Enemy’s from opposite street corners in Downtown Harlem”. The author uses this great detail to add this important image to the reader to truly have the image of Harlem and all of the bad that comes from

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