Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' Sonny 's Blues '

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“Reaching Reclamation”
Addiction is a horrible thing. Unhappiness is a mood throughout the whole story.
Blues is a genre of music that is often used to express a sad mood. The contradictory lives of the two brothers contribute to the theme of being safe and take risks. In this story, James Baldwin writes about two brothers who were raised together. As time passed, they separated from one another and lived completely different lives. “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin addresses the themes of finding comfort in music, dangers of addiction and the suffering of two brothers.
First, Baldwin uses the theme of finding comfort in music to escape the chaos of the world. . Graham Benton expresses “Although Sonny first tries to relieve his pain by submitting to the mind numbing effects of heroin, he almost simultaneously discovers that playing jazz provides him with a similar kind of escape from his worldly troubles (362).” Sonny finds that Jazz is a much safer pain reliever than heroin and it gives him a way to escape his worldly problems. John M. Reilly states “in the story of Sonny and his brother an intuition of the meaning of the Blues repairs the relationship between two men who have chosen different ways to cope with the menacing ghetto environment […] (12).” The narrator is finally convinced that Blues may be the solution to the world clashing against them and “as the narrator gets swept up in the awesome majesty of his brother’s music, his thoughts move from a meditation on
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