Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' The Blues '

2182 WordsDec 3, 20149 Pages
Sonny’s Blues, a short story by famed African-American author James Baldwin, is the story of two bothers. Other famous stories of two brothers include both The Prodigal Son parable and the story of Cain and Abel, both from which Baldwin clearly draws inspiration from. Baldwin grew up with many religious teachings, as his adoptive father, David Baldwin, was a preacher. Though the relationship between father and son was not enviable, Baldwin still grew up active in his religion (James Baldwin- Biography). Baldwin, despite growing up in the Baptist church with a preacher for a father began to convert to Pentecostalism began in his early teenage years when he accompanied friends to a Pentecostal church, where, at the age of fourteen, he became ‘street preacher’ (James Baldwin- Biography). Of those years as a preacher, Baldwin recalled, “Those three years in the pulpit – I didn’t realize it then – that is what turned me into a writer, really, dealing with all that anguish and that despair and that beauty.” Many of his works prominently feature religion, and mimic the bible in language and tone (James Baldwin- About the Author). In Sonny’s Blues, and many other of Baldwin’s writings, the figure of the musician represents a move towards an anti-institutional spirituality and suggests the ways in which Baldwin was becoming, not less secular, but move aware of the need to distinguish between the structured religion of the church and the authenticity of a self- spirituality, a
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