James Baldwin experienced two decades of successful writings in the mid-twentieth century, a time when racial tensions were high in the United States. Born in Harlem, Baldwin lived and adapted to the world of social and racial unrest; though most of us cannot understand these times, Baldwin shared through his writings the hardships many families endured. Baldwin reflects on this difficult time by writing a story titled “Sonny’s Blues”. This story is about two black brothers who are tormented with daily life and struggle to overcome the hopeless confines of the city. In this essay, I will discuss how poverty, drugs, prisons and death contribute to the inescapable boundaries of suffering.
In the book “Black Like Me” by Howard Griffin, a journalist goes through the times of the 1950s where blacks were not treated equally. In this book Griffin turns himself black with chemicals prescribed by a doctor and lives the life of a negro. He then leaves his family, and starts his journal accounts of his negro life. In this book Griffin changes his perspective of how negroes really were, despite what he learned from others. During his journey he faced many hardships, sufferings, and inequalities.
Sonny’s Blues, written by James Baldwin, is a story about the opposite lives of a troubled inner-city black teenager who struggles with addiction and the missing relationship with his brother. In the opening paragraphs it is apparent the brothers do not have a close relationship as the narrator says “He became real to me again” (Baldwin) as if Sonny is only an imaginative or elusive figure. While Sonny has a real and apparent addiction to heroin, for which he was incarcerated our narrator also struggles with an emotional imprisonment of his own. What can break the ice between our two characters and reunite the brotherly love which was lost so long ago? Imprisonment is a common theme throughout the story and we soon realize Sonny has been arrested and will be sent to prison.
The story Sonny 's Blues by James Baldwin (1957) investigates the topic of affliction experienced by Black Americans as people shackled by segregation, joblessness, lodging issues, tranquilize dependence, detainment and suicide. It includes the battle of two siblings isolated and got in the traps of time, space and beliefs. The anonymous Narrator who is moderately fortunate between the two kin battles to comprehend his self-destructive yet gifted sibling Sonny while the last discovers trouble in adapting up to the remarkableness that inundates him. Viable correspondence is vital in the tale of two siblings with various dreams in life where fierceness and anger may detonate at split seconds to put a conclusion to one dear existence of a wonder.
The short story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin is about a young man whom is struggling in life. The narrator, who is unnamed throughout the story, and Sonny’s older brother tells the readers in depth about his brothers battle. In the late 1900s during poverty and systematic oppression, many African Americans were subjected to one specific area in modern day known as Harlem. Not only is story about discrimination African Americans faced, it is about two brothers gaining a better understanding on each others lives. Baldwin demonstrates that acceptance over a family member’s decisions can strengthen the bond between two estranged brothers.
The negativity of light and darkness in Sonny’s Blues magnifies the suffering in the community of Harlem and reveals the how everyone, child and adult are touched by the suffering. While the narrator was reminiscing about his mother and family when they used to sit in the living room, he noticed the darkness in the night. He saw the darkness fill the silence and hoped that he won’t be touched by darkness one day (19). Baldwin wrote, “Light fills the room, the child is filled with darkness, He knows that every time this happens he’s moved just a little closer to that darkness outside” (19). The light revealed the suffering in Harlem to the child which in turn filled the child with darkness and pain.
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.
This despair is what makes the people who they are, the persecution of their race and daily hardships. Baldwin uses the hardships of his life and his community's lives through the characters in his stories. Every man, woman, and child have different challenges in life which create the person they are and who they will be. The cruel time period, 1920s, the people of black communities lived through is what made them the who they
James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues,” tells the story of two brothers living in 1950s Harlem. The story depicts the relationship of the brothers as the younger brother, Sonny, battles to overcome a heroin addiction and find a career in jazz. In “Sonny’s Blues”, Baldwin’s shifting portrayal of Harlem mirrors the changing relationship of the two brothers: while both the city and the relationship were originally with dark uncertainty, by the end of the story, the narrator has begun to find peace both within his surroundings and his relationship with his brother. At the beginning of the story, before Sonny returns to Harlem, the narrator never describes his surroundings, only the people in them. He mentions that he is in the subway, a school, and
The snake represents Perry’s troubles or conflicts he has faced that hold him back from ever being able to be free. Finally, the bird represents his father. His father was the one who would encourage him to be good in school and to learn from his mistakes. But the minute that Perry was no longer with his father, he lost his constant reminder to stay out of trouble. Perry’s past played a major role in his development of becoming a murderer because of the miserable experiences he went through and the troubles he never seemed to
The blues is a musical form, a genre used to communicate the troubles of those who conduct it. It is a powerful form of expression, yet it is the form of suffering literally transformed into entertainment. When people face the sorrows and tragedies in life, they resort to different methods of coping to relieve themselves of this. Through destructive methods such as alcoholism and drugs they may attempt to escape from their problems, but will never truly be free from this suffering and will continue to struggle. James Baldwin creates a story that embraces this feeling.
In this song rapper Lil Boosie is conveying what it was like growing up in the inner city of Baton Rouge Louisiana. This song points to the strains of growing up in an unstable home full of drug use and domestic violence. Along with the implications of an unstable home life, this song sheds light on also growing up in a crime ridden, drug infested, and violent community. As a young man growing up in this community Lil Boosie had no positive male role models at home so he turned to the streets and in a sense became a product of his environment. Also encomposed in this song are the strains of losing your friends to gun violence and