Theme Of Light And Darkness In Sonny's Blues

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In “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, the story is entirely based on two brothers, and their emotional and physical struggles. Throughout the entire story a theme of light and darkness is portrayed. This theme is expressed through numerous flashbacks and current situations in the story. Before the passing of the brothers’ mother, she makes the narrator promise her one thing. Within that promise it involves watching over his brother Sonny. How is darkness encountered by the narrator and his dear brother Sonny? Why does the narrator promise his mother this? Is Sonny like his uncle or the narrator like his father?

In Sonny’s Blues the theme of light and darkness describes the problems the characters are facing with reality. In contrast, as to the truthful messages gained through these problems they
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The narrator has flashbacks of Sunday afternoons with Sonny and their family. Within these flashbacks the narrator points out key points to light and dark being portrayed. The narrator describes the darkness comes from older times and that defines his family’s identity: “the silence, the darkness is coming, and the darkness in the faces frighten the child obscurely. He hopes that the hand which strokes his forehead will never stop-- will never die. But something deep and watchful in the child knows that this is bound to end, is already ending. And when the light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness”. Defining, the light comes from experience and talk of knowledge with an older mind to a child. Lightness can be faint in encouraging you. When a child expresses who they truly are to the world, they lose a sense of where they came from and experiences they went through leaving faint memories of childhood. Describing that the child becomes bearing in the darkness. The lesson learned about light and darkness here is that without light, darkness is not aware of. Without this there is no way to understand
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