James Baldwin 's Sonny 's Blues

Good Essays
James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues is a short story that, for some people, could be considered a challenging read. Not because of the level of difficulty, but for the fact that it shares a lot of human angst. However, Baldwin’s story still manages to be entertaining, as well as holding many life lessons in it. Baldwin’s story teaches lessons such as; dealing with suffering, being supportive, and accepting differences. James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues does a noble job of relating to the readers on various levels, while also teaching important lessons everyone should adhere by. The short story, Sonny’s Blues, tells the story of Sonny, a jazz musician, that lives in Harlem, New York. Sonny turns to the drug heroin while in high school to escape the…show more content…
But what makes everyone different is how we cope with it. It is obvious that the approach Sonny decides to deal with his suffering is drugs and his music. Sonny began his drug addiction in high school while trying to escape from his life and they ways of Harlem. Music, which becomes his main outlet for dealing with suffering once getting out of prison, is the only thing that brings satisfaction to his life. As for Sonny’s brother, he deals with suffering in a completely contrary way. The narrator chooses to ignore his sufferings. Instead, he pretends his life is perfect and disapproves of the way Sonny chooses to cope with his sorrows. Which is the foundation of the conflict between the brothers. The narrator proves his effort of trying to convince himself that his life is free of suffering by saying, “It might be said, perhaps, that I had escaped, after all, I was a school teacher; or that Sonny had, he hadn’t lived in Harlem for years” (7). Eventually, after the passing of the Narrators daughter, he realizes that his attempts are unsuccessful. Sonny on the other hand, stopped his use of drugs and turned to the world of jazz. Through his music he is able to deal with hardships. When the narrator finally learned to deal with his pain, he finally reaches a point when him and Sonny can value one another more. This story teaches that by accepting the difficult things life can throw at you and learning to cope with it, the more you can have compassion
Get Access