Furthermore, Sonny's individualism is a direct result of his unhappiness with conventional life. As a young man, Sonny is unable to get along with his father. He hates his home and school. His creative interest leads him to become isolated from his brother, who feels threatened by "his jazz-oriented life style and his continued attraction to Greenwich Village" (Albert 179). By the beginning of the story, Sonny has rejected his family and his home, constructing a new life as a musician and drug peddler in a new location foreign to the narrator.
In my opinion the narrator, is a very selfish man, he only cares about his feelings and not those around him. The narrator broke his promise to his mother to take care of Sonny, “Two days later I was married, and then I was gone. And I had a lot of things on my mind and I pretty well forgot my promise to Mama until I got shipped home on a special furlough for her funeral” (Baldwin). The narrator’s mother wanted the boys to be close, because they will only
Mr. Baldwin made the older brother the narrator so the reader would not feel like Sonny was a dangerous man. The older brother seemed to apologize for Sonny while at the same time try to convince himself and the reader that Sonny really was not a bad guy. Sonny is really a hero and yet an anti-hero. He is someone that seems dangerous, lazy and extreme until you get to know him. The problem is that Sonny does not let people know him.
In James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" a pair of brothers try to make sense of the urban decay that surrounds and fills them. This quest to puzzle out the truth of the shadows within their hearts and on the streets takes on a great importance. Baldwin meets his audience at a halfway mark: Sonny has already fallen into drug use, and is now trying to return to a clean life with his brother's aid. The narrator must first attempt to understand and make peace with his brother's drug use before he can extend his help and heart to him. Sonny and his brother both struggle for acceptance. Sonny wants desperately to explain himself while also trying to stay afloat and out
Eventually the narrator and invites him to live his family once he is released from prison and Sonny reluctantly agrees to live there until he finishes college. This is a big turning point in the narrator’s character because he had finally began to wonder “ about the life that Sonny had lived” (Baldwin 243) and started making his efforts to take care of his little brother like he once promised his mother.
James Baldwin’s, “Sonny’s Blues,” illustrates the story between two different brothers as they struggle to discover the character of one another. “Sonny’s Blues” is narrated through the older brother’s point of view, as he portrays their difficulties in growing up, separation, and reunion. Baldwin purposely picks to tell the story in the first person point of view because of the omniscient and realistic effects it contribute to the story overall. The mother, father, and Sonny all express their accounts to the older brother, making him the perfect character to tell the story. In addition, the first person point of view allows the reader to experience the vicarious feelings that the
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.”
As well as in the short story Sonny’s Blues, the main character, Sonny, is being criticized by his brother. Since the very beginning, their mother told the oldest one, ‘’ you got to hold on to your brother ’’ and that’s what he wanted to do, but Sonny took a different path than he did. Sonny was the kind of guy that was heroin-addicted and a jazz musician, but his older brother didn’t see all these sides of him. We discover all these sides by the use of flashback of the author throughout the major parts of the story. The author didn’t want us to see Sonny like his older brother was seeing him, he wanted us to see him as a poor, un-accepted guy that needed to be listened by his peers. The brother didn’t accept the journey that Sonny had taken, but if he would of saw the actual Sonny, and stop hiding in the darkness, he would of accepted him faster and understand that Sonny only wanted to show that he could do good things not only drugs. In the middle of the story, there is a flashback were we learn that actually Sonny is more experienced about life than his older brother, because Sonny was in drugs and was really affected by Harlem( the city they stayed in when they were younger). The brother had a pretty easy life; he became a teacher and had a little family. This demonstrates that we need support from our peers, to be able to continue without taking bad choices.
The middle section of the story is a flashback. The narrator remembers his last talk with his mother, in which she made him promise to “be there” for Sonny. Home on
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
The narrator says that he “couldn’t believe it: but what I mean by that is I couldn’t find any room for it anywhere inside me. I had kept it outside me for a long time. I hadn’t wanted to know” (Baldwin600). The narrator and Sonny haven’t spoken much since the death of their mother. The narrator wanted Sonny to stay in school and finish, and Sonny wanted to drop out and join the army or the navy, and then chase his dream of being a jazz piano player. Sonny agreed to stay in school at first, but after a while, he stopped going and eventually ran away and joined the army. After not hearing from Sonny in years, the narrator heard from him out of nowhere when he was deployed in Greece. Both Sonny and the narrator were living in New York years after the war was over. They would meet sometimes, but it would always result in a fight, and eventually the narrator and Sonny stopped speaking. Before their mother died, she told the narrator to look after his brother. She said “it ain’t only the bad ones, nor yet the dumb ones that gets sucked under” (Baldwin607). So when Sonny got arrested for heroin, the narrator felt some guilt and that it was sort of his fault, but at the same time, he felt that he wanted nothing to do with him and his troubles. The narators confusion on the matter was put to a rest when he ran into one of Sonny’s friends right after the arrest, and his friend made it clear that as soon as Sonny got out he would go
The narrator experienced a lot of problems throughout his life but managed to emerge victoriously from most of them. Even with this, he needs to support Sonny because this was his mother's dying wish. "The death of the narrator's daughter, Sonny's failure to fit in with his own family, a stint in the navy all serve to alienate the brothers, even after their mother made the narrator promise to keep an eye on young Sonny" (Smith 22). The fact that they were born in a harsh environment, society's views in regard to their racial background, and the fact that they experienced a lot of hardships during their lives all had a severe effect on the personalities of each of the brothers.
him, he realizes that Sonny is his own man. The trouble the narrator had with Sonny is
James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues is a short story focused around the narration of Sonny’s brother. The narrator in the case of Sonny’s Blues is the most important character in a cast of characters not only because he is the narrator, but due to the dynamic change of his character we see at the end of the story. Baldwin effectively uses the first-person narration of Sonny’s brother in order to convey the theme of communication. Throughout the entire story of Sonny’s Blues, the narrator and his brother interact through exchanging words countless times. The question posed is whether or not the narrator can truly hear what his brother is saying to him.
James Baldwin starts writing the first conversation between Sonny and his brother in the page 261. At their Mother’s funeral they start to talk about what will Sonny do. The main topic is music, which is Sonny’s passion but his brother does not completely agree with him. Sonny’s brother suggests something more practical, he tells Sonny to finish school first. The narrator finds it difficult to accept the way of living that Sonny wants to live. For him school is more important than his brother’s passion, but this upsets Sonny. The second conversation starts in page 268. This time they talk about life. Sonny points out how people try not to suffer but he also mentions suffering is part of life and it is inevitable. Sonny also mentions his problems