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Who Is The Antagonist In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin?

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James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” uses Sonny as an antagonist character to the protagonist, his eldest brother. While Sonny and his eldest brother both are the center of the stories content, Baldwin uses Sonny to represent a challenge to the narrator of the story. Through the rekindling of a brother’s relationships, Baldwin is able to depict Sonny's motivations and aspirations through his flaws, and the way in which his flaws affected his life. Sonny’s flaws ultimately shape Sonny’s character, his reserved feelings and silent demeanor isolate him from the world, but at the same time contribute to his aspirations and motivations by music. He even goes as far as to compare his allure to music as “…what heroin feels like sometimes—when it's in your veins" (p. 57). Following this statement, Sonny says that music and heroin alike both make him feel "sure" (p. 57). The significance of what Sonny is saying is that his motivations by music can also be attributed to addiction to drugs. With Sonny finding his solace in music, he used the drugs to find solace in his everyday life to make him feel connected to his surroundings when he wasn’t playing. Baldwin portrays Sonny as feeling uncertain of where he belongs outside of his music and disconnected from the people around him. Sonny describes his disconnection as “… no way of getting it out—that storm inside” (p.…show more content…
Sonny aspired to be a musician because it motivated him to express his feelings through the music. Within playing Sonny could tell how he was feeling without ever having to leave his comfort zone. The addiction to drugs Sonny suffered had nothing to do with Sonny being a musician it had to do with Sonny being able to express his emotions in ways he was incapable of when he wasn’t
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