James Baldwin, author of Sonny’s Blues, was born in Harlem, NY in 1924. During his career as an essayist, he published many novels and short stories. Growing up as an African American, and being “the grandson of a slave” (82) was difficult. On a day to day basis, it was a constant battle with racial discrimination, drugs, and family relationships. One of Baldwin’s literature pieces was Sonny’s Blues in which he describes a specific event that had a great impact on his relationship with his brother, Sonny. Having to deal with the life-style of poverty, his relationship with his brother becomes affected and rivalry develops. Conclusively, brotherly love is the theme of the story. Despite the narrator’s and his brother’s differences, this
They are both suffering from the inequalities faced by Americans before and during the Civil Rights Movement. The story starts out with the unnamed narrator, who is the oldest of the two, discovering his brother, Sonny, has been arrested for heroin usage and drug dealing. Understanding the relationship between the brothers, Sonny’s and other musicians drug use and the historical setting of the story are all important to understanding James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues.”
In James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues” there is a constant contrast between light and dark. Baldwin uses this theme to highlight the struggles that the Narrator and his younger brother, Sonny, both face. Light represents all of the positive aspects of life. Meanwhile, the darkness represents the constant struggle that threatens the characters in the story. Light and dark has a presence in both characters. The narrator lives his life in the “light”. He is a teacher, middleclass man, a man who has a wife and family. For the narrator, the darkness is his constant reflections on his brother, and his sense of guilt or blame for being the reason why Sonny turned to a life of drugs. The darkness represents Sonny in a way. He is a
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
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
Walter Dean Myers (2014), a famous New York Times journalist wrote that “…I read a story by James Baldwin: “Sonny’s Blues.” I didn’t love the story, but I was lifted by it, for it took place in Harlem, and it was a story concerned with black people like those I knew. By humanizing the people who were like me, Baldwin’s story also humanized me. The story gave me a permission that I didn’t know I needed, the permission to write about my own landscape, my own map.” It broods a similar contentment in the reader that the reader’s conscience is questioned by the exposé of the veracity of the characters’ quandary and epiphany and thus, a deep level of appreciative-ness of the American Negro’s struggle is
Sonny 's blues is a fictional story and a first person narrative written by James Baldwin . The main point of this story is how drugs affects Sonny 's life,and how the narrator feels about it . I believe the moral of this story is people deal with struggles in everyday life and people deal with their struggles in their own way .The narrator is not only sonny’s brother he is also someone trying to undersatnd his brother . Learning more about sonny meant he would be able to understand him and why Sonny chose drugs to escape his pain and struggles.
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
Sonny’s Blues is a novella with Sonny and his brother a teacher as main characters; Sonny engaged in drug use and peddling an act that landed him prison where his brother visited him and eventually on release he lived with him. Sonny’s parents died at different times during the racial segregation epoch in America, they were African-Americans who suffered victimization. Before her mother’s death, she had instructed Sonny’s senior brother - a teacher- to take care of him because the surrounding world was dark symbolic for unfriendly. The theme of brotherly love begins when their mother requests them
Her older son has difficulty with her legacy because he chooses not to see. Where his mother was vigilant and quick to identify the weak areas in her family, her son is blind to them. The beginning of "Sonny's Blues" marks an awakening for him. He is faced with a printed truth about Sonny's drug addiction, and suddenly his world is penetrated from all directions. His own grief for the loss of his daughter focuses this new perception. "My trouble made his real" (429); he needs to reach out to Sonny in order to begin to resolve his own pain. Yet as he narrates the story, it becomes apparent that he has perceived very little along the way. Thoughts like "I had never really noticed it before," and "strange, suddenly, to watch, though I had been seeing... all my life" indicate the surprise that the narrator feels as he encounters his life on a new level (430-431). Eventually he comes to understand more clearly when Sonny says, "It's to stand it, to be able to make it at all. On any level" (432). However, he must first find a way to listen.
“Sonny’s Blues” is an emotional story written by an amazing author, James Baldwin, who has come to be one of my favorite writers. This particular piece talks about the troubles of African American freeing themselves from the mental bondages of their surroundings, the ghetto. The title is significant, and helped me to understand the underlining meaning of the story. The title can be divided into two main reasons, the first, “Sonny’s Blues, meaning the music he plays. Second is the reference to his life, his feelings, his style, and most importantly his way of life.
“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
The plot should be one important element for a story. It is the comment for the story. Sonny’s Blues use the narrative method to tell the story. The plot is not very ups and downs, but it use the smoothly plot to reach the goal. There are so many dialogues in the story. No matter the dialogues between Sonny and his brother or the dialogues between narrator and their mother. It described exquisite and emotional. I think it just like the people who talk in front of me. The dialogue also run through the whole story. Start with what’s the problem between Sonny and Sonny’s brother. Then what struggles they had. Finally, how the problem solved. There is one dialogue between Sonny’s brother and Sonny’s mother. “‘I want to talk to you about your brother,’ she said, suddenly. ‘If anything happens to me he ain’t going to have nobody to look out for him. ‘Mama,’ I said, ‘ain’t nothing going to happen to you or Sonny. Sonny’s all right. He’s a good boy and he’s got good sense.’” (43) This plot describe the talk between mom and Sonny’s brother. It’s clearly portray the worry of Sonny’s mother. And this is also the start of narrator realized that Sonny become his responsible. There is another plot which describe their father’s brother. These two plots make reader connect with Sonny addict into drug is how undesirable by his family. Although
In James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues he deals with a man trying to find his identity in a very hostile society. The blues in this story is used in a more emotional manner which recollects the past. It also repairs the relationship between the two brothers who have chosen two different ways of coping in their ghetto environment. The blues also serves as a communication devise between the two brothers. Baldwin uses the blues to state a fact; the ugliness and meanness inherent in the human condition. In order to really understand the message of the blues you have to be one that has suffered just like Sonny and the elder brother. The blues that they play also communicates to other sufferers who have had their own trials, so they know what this music is all about. Sonny's suffering are within himself, but deep suffering is common to all his listeners. Even his brother can attune himself to this suffering, which is brought on by the death of his little daughter Grace. When the brother is at the club listening to the blues he recalls his mother, the moonlit road on