Theme Of Darkness In Sonny's Blues

1472 Words6 Pages
“Sonny’s Blues” tells the story of two estranged brothers who lead very different lives with only one similarity: darkness. However, even the darkness was dissimilar, arising from the differences in their lives. Sonny found his passion in music, which he pursued despite his family’s disapproval, but his lifestyle led him to a drug addiction. On the other hand, his brother, the narrator, has an average life with a nice home and family. The narrator’s darkness comes from his inability to deal with emotions; he tells himself that he and the people around him have no suffering in their lives, despite the darkness being everywhere he looks. Although the characters in the story are fictional, the lives of Sonny and the narrator are reminiscent of people in real life. Just as people do in everyday life, Sonny and the narrator go through periods of darkness in the story, only to find light in the end. The shift from darkness to light in “Sonny’s Blues” holds immense significance…show more content…
The darkness in the life of the narrator is not obvious, mainly because the narrator refuses to admit there is darkness in his life. In the beginning of “Sonny’s Blues”, the narrator seems like a stable man with a decent life. The narrator is an algebra teacher who lives with his wife and children in Harlem. However, as Robert Reid says in his article “The Power of Darkness in Sonny’s Blues”, the narrator’s desire for an average life comes from his desire to escape his suffering. Reid states, “he attempts to save himself through assimilation of the values of the white myth”. As Reid says, the narrator attempts to disassociate himself from his race throughout the story, despite living in Harlem. The narrator teaches young African-American students whose heads bump “...abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities”. The narrator recognizes the problems his students face, and yet he does nothing to try to
Open Document