Analyzing Sonny's Blues Essay

2151 Words Mar 2nd, 2007 9 Pages
Analysis of "Sonny's Blues" "Sonny's Blues" was written in 1957, but carries a vital social message in our society today of people trying to understand one another and find their identity. "Sonny's Blues" not only states dramatically the motive for Baldwin's famous polemics in the cause of Black Freedom, but it also provides an esthetic linking his work, in all literary genres, with the cultures of the Black ghetto (Reilly 56). To truly understand Baldwin's purpose in writing "Sonny's Blues" about finding your identity, we need to analyze the story by using principles: plotline, point of view, character, setting, tone, style, theme, and imagery. After reading "Sonny's Blues", the first thing to analyze is plotline, which is the basis …show more content…
In one scene, their mother asks the narrator to take care of Sonny and to watch out for him when she dies. She tells him that his own father had had a brother who was very much like Sonny, but who was killed by drunken whites on a rural road in the South. This flashback is significant because it shows how the narrator's father had a brother whom he watched over too like the narrator did to Sonny and never really understood his brother's passion for music either and that music "died" when his brother passed. As the narrator looks at his father's relationship with his brother, the narrator can see how Sonny and his relationship are just like his father and his uncle's relationship. In a second flashback, the narrator tells us that following his mother's funeral, the narrator arranges for Sonny to live with his fiancée Isabel's family while he is at war. After his mother's funeral, Sonny tells the narrator about his dream of becoming a jazz musician and the narrator is enraged and thinks that Sonny's dream isn't a real dream. In a third flashback, Sonny clashes with Isabel's family, who don't understand his passion for music, his desire to "hang out" downtown with other musicians or his rejection of Isabel's family's values and lifestyle. At this point, Isabel's family feels like they are being punished, because Sonny practices day after day and uses music as his only way to escape all of his feelings. Sonny then decides to run away and

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