Many tragic events happen in this short story that allows the reader to create an assumption for an underlying theme of racism. John Baldwin has a way of telling the story of Sonny’s drug problem as a tragic reality of the African American experience. The reader has to depict textual evidence to prove how the lifestyle and Harlem has affected almost everything. The narrator describes Harlem as “... some place I didn’t want to go. I certainly didn’t want to know how it felt. It filled everything, the people, the houses, the music, the dark, quicksilver barmaid, with menace; and this menace was their reality” (Baldwin 60). Another key part in this story is when the narrator and Sonny’s mother is telling the story of a deceased uncle. The mother explains how dad’s brother was drunk crossing the road and got hit by a car full of drunk white men. Baldwin specifically puts emphasis on the word “white” to describe the men for a comparison to the culture of dad and his brother.
“Sonny’s Blues,” which is an outstanding short story by James Baldwin, describes many obstacles in lifestyles and relationships of African-Americans in the influential time of post Harlem Renaissance and discrimination in the 1950s. In the end of the story, the nightclub setting is the most important and emotional turning point of the brotherhood between narrator and his young brother, Sonny. After many conflicts and arguments about their different ideals and lifestyles, Sonny tries to open his heart to let his brother understand him by inviting the narrator to come to his jazz music performance at a small nightclub in Greenwich Village. At this place, he meets friends of Sonny, acquaint himself with jazz music and tries to get into Sonny’s world. He carefully observes any changes of his brother on the stage. Sonny is nervous and has trouble in the beginning of the performance. However, Sonny quickly gets back on track. His music seems to touch everyone, including his brother, by its beauty and freedom. The narrator becomes proud of Sonny. Eventually, he recognizes his brother’s talent and understands that Sonny was born to be a real musician.
In the short story, Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin, there are two brother that live in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. The older brother, whose name is never mentioned, was given responsibility of Sonny by their mother before she passed away. Sonny is the younger of the two and wants to be a jazz pianist, but his older brother does not understand this, while he is an algebra school teacher. Sonny and his brother stop communicating. Later, the older brother is going to his job when he sees in the newspaper that his younger brother, Sonny, had been arrested for selling and possessing cocaine, or as it is called in the story, horse. Sonny’s brother never writes Sonny in jail until his daughter, Grace, died of polio. After Sonny gets out of jail, they begin to get close and his brother starts to appreciate Sonny’s love for jazz.
In the short story “Sunny Blues” by James Baldwin it is nothing more than the distance between two estranged brothers. As well coming to understanding the pain, suffering, frustration, and triumphs your brother have endured. The story takes places in Harlem NY, more around 1950 around the Harlem Renaissance, a time of poverty, drugs, violence around the African American community. The characters include Sunny, who is the opposite of his brother. He’s a musician, outgoing, he lives in the present, sympathetic, set his own rules, and content with his life choices. The narrator, Sunny brother he judgmental, he lives in the past as everyone he meets he create a little history about them. He does not know how to express his emotions. Isabel the wife and mother of the
The narrator always wanted the best for his younger brother Sonny. Sonny from the beginning of the story has a hard history of using drugs, ending up in jail, and not finishing school. Once both of their parents had passed, the
In reading the story "Sonny 's Blues" by James Baldwin, we learn of two brothers and their lives growing up in Harlem. The narrator, who is the older brother in the story, narrates the trials and tribulations he and his younger brother (Sonny) had to endure growing up in such a harsh environment in Harlem (due to the drugs, violence, and Black 's being looked down upon in general in the mid-1950s). We start in the future (present), with the narrator having a somewhat successful future being a teacher and having a wife and two kids (with one of them passing away due to the polio disease). We learned very early that Sonny was locked up due to possession of heroin. The narrator originally found out about the tragic news from a newspaper, then later, an old childhood friend of the two made a trip to inform him while he was leaving school. The childhood friend tried to inform the narrator of the harsh reality of the situation Sonny was in, and would never change by telling him "Listen. They 'll let him out and then it 'll just start all over again. That 's what I mean" (Baldwin page 50), with the narrator already being mindful of the situation and conceivable consequence of him diving into that lifestyle. He initially didn 't care, but came to the realization that he had to care about his younger misguided brother as he and the fellow converted then parted ways. This gave light into where the story was heading with the two siblings, as they would write letters back and forward
James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” was a great tale of the struggles shared between two brothers in Harlem in 1957. This story is about two African American brothers who, unfortunately, grew apart as the aged. The plot shows the struggles the two brothers faced as they grew up in Harlem, and in return, the two drastically different paths they perused. James Baldwin was an African American who grew up in Harlem in the 1930s and 40s. Baldwin was the oldest of nine children, and grew up in a very poor family, having a very bad relationship with his stepfather. Baldwin followed in his stepfather’s footsteps in becoming a preacher, but as he was studying to do so, he realized that his true calling was to become a writer. Baldwin
The short story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, is the tale of two brothers who grew up in Harlem. One brother is a school teacher, husband, and father, whom was left with the responsibility of looking after his younger brother Sonny. Sonny a troubled young man, struggling with his demons and his desire to be a musician. The brothers, born seven years apart, have a complicated relationship. That make it difficult to understand each other; however, the love and bond between them outweigh their differences. The diverse settings throughout the story positively and negatively influence each of these characters, in a plethora of ways.
While reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin theme, symbolism, and motifs were discovered throughout the entire short story. Sonny one of the two main characters, is dealing with a drug addiction and is now following his dreams of becoming a jazz musician. The narrator, whose name was never given, does his best to keep the promise he made his mother years ago, to be his brother’s keeper.
In James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues, he describes a story of pain and prejudice. The theme of suffering makes the readers relate to it. The story is told in the realistic point of view of Sonny’s brother. The setting and time of the story also has great significance to the story. From beginning to end, the story is well developed.
Fictional writing is generally done just to entertain readers. Some authors create stories with a singular point of view, while others introduce more complex plots and storylines. When it comes to author James Baldwin’s short story Sonny’s Blues, there is much depth given to the storyline and the characters. Sonny’s Blues has been analyzed by many different people throughout time because the story has many elements. From Baldwin’s skillful use of metaphors and similes to his incorporation of religious references, this story is insightfully and complexly written. A simple story about a man and his brother leaves readers with an inside look into family, drug addiction, socioeconomic struggles in the Black community, and the language of Jazz
In "Sonny's Blues" James Baldwin presents an intergenerational portrait of suffering and survival within the sphere of black community and family. The family dynamic in this story strongly impacts how characters respond to their own pain and that of their family members. Examining the central characters, Mama, the older brother, and Sonny, reveals that each assumes or acknowledges another's burden and pain in order to accept his or her own situation within an oppressive society. Through this sharing each character is able to achieve a more profound understanding of his own suffering and attain a sharper, if more precarious, notion of survival.
In James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues,” one of the most pertinent themes throughout the story is the contrast and duality of light and darkness. More specifically, the author explores this theme by using light and darkness to explain the characters coming to terms with their realities and the realities of many people who live in their community. The theme also is key in explaining the relationship between Sonny and the narrator. In this paper, I intend to explain the significance of the tension of identifying one’s reality in “Sonny’s Blues,” by exploring the many instances that Baldwin uses light and darkness to explore one’s reality.
Music acts as a psychiatric-therapy session to bring peace to those who suffer. The protagonist implies that he cannot endure the awareness that his brother went to jail for drug use, and also for questioning his friend about being intoxicated. Although Sonny is not present in this scene, the music is a sense of interference for the narrator, and further relates to Sonny avoiding his problems of the cold reality in Harlem.
“Sonny’s Blues” is a touching story of transformation for the narrator and his brother. After spending time in prison for possession of heroin, Sonny comes back home to meet a very hostile and unforgiving brother. The story is set in the predominately African American projects of Harlem, New York where drug abuse and violence are quite rampant. The projects according to Baldwin are: “rocks in the middle of a boiling sea” (112). This description highlights the awful state of affairs. Life conditions in Harlem are worsened by the fact that there are no opportunities for Blacks to empower themselves economically and to liberate themselves from