Analysis of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin Essay

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Analysis of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

In the story of “Sonny’s Blues,” by Baldwin, the beginning of the story finds Sonny’s brother on his way to work reading about Sonny’s predicament. Sonny got arrested for “peddling and using heroin.” He didn’t want to believe that his brother was in trouble. While teaching his algebra class he was thinking about the past. He remembered when he first suspected his Sonny of using Heroin. He was always under the impression that Sonny was, “wild, but he wasn’t crazy. And he’d always been a good boy.” So he refused to believe that his brother was in trouble and needed him.

He did not write to Sonny until his daughter died. After Sonny’s incarceration he offered Sonny a place to stay. Their
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His mother shared a story with him about his father and his uncle. She wanted him to promise to take care of his brother. She may have had an idea that Sonny was in trouble. After their mother died Sonny told his brother that he didn’t want to stay in Harlem anymore. His brother wanted him to finish school and stay another year. He saw the worry and concern in Sonny’s eyes, but dismissed it. This was Sonny’s way of telling his brother that he needed help before it was too late. Sonny pulled away from him and stated, “I hear you. But you never hear anything I say.”

Sonny’s passion in life was his love for music. This kept him going through his difficult times, “sometime you know, and it was actually when I was most out of the world, I felt I was in it, that I was with it, really, and I could play or didn’t really have to play.” He invited his brother to watch him play at a nightclub. Through the music Sonny played his life’s obstacles and triumph. His brother finally understood what Sonny went through and will continue to go through.

In conclusion, his brother ordered scotch and milk. The significance of the drink could be for Sonny to remember his past and what he went through, “though hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.” He hopes that Sonny has tasted a glimpse of his past and look towards a positive and brighter future, “Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury;
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