Analysis Of The Story ' Sonny 's Blues ' By James Baldwin

1481 Words6 Pages
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
Get Access