The Theme Of Suffering In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

679 Words3 Pages
Suffering, is inevitable. However, suffering for a black American, is fueled by discrimination and oppression. While suffering often unites mankind, skin color has somehow managed to divide it. As evil transpires in our world, we begin to see our communities divide and organize themselves according to color, social class, and family values. These issues are presented in James Baldwin’s work, where he displays suffering, particularly for the blacks in America. The themes portrayed in his work, reflect what he has endured from a young boy to an adult. “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story that the narrator gives of a brother called Sonny, his quest to understanding himself, as well as things that shape his decisions in life (Miller & Quentin 33). The same issues highlighted in the story through the character Sonny, precisely illustrate what James Baldwin encountered. Therefore, one may see the short story as a way for him to turn his life into a piece of literature. In this study, readers will focus on a thesis that touches three themes of racism and segregation, family background relations, and suffering in the short story “Sonny’s…show more content…
As a young boy, James Baldwin went through a lot of suffering as a black American. He was oppressed by his stepfather and was harassed by New York Police Department in what he said was because of his skin color. In his story Sonny’s Blues, the main character, Sonny, who happens to be the brother of the narrator, also endures suffering as a young man (Byerman & Keith 367). Despite the narrator being an algebra teacher, Sonny is forced to live in a dangerous background of Harlem where he regularly faces violence from his white neighbors. Baldwin’s quote, “All that hatred down there," he continues, "all that hatred and misery and love. It's a wonder it doesn't blow the avenue apart” (Baldwin 112). What Sonny goes through is what happened to James Baldwin when he lived in
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