James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues

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An Analysis of James Baldwin 's "Sonny 's Blues" In James Baldwin 's short story "Sonny 's Blues" a young man questions his brotherly obligations after finding that his younger brother has been arrested for using drugs. In the attempt to rectify his younger brother 's behavior and life, the young man faces his own feelings for his brother and comes to terms with the life his brother Sonny lives. The developments of certain elements-plot, character, point of view, setting, symbolism-in the story help accentuate the narrator 's struggles and theme(s) of the story. One of the most important elements of this story is the setting. Taking place in the drug-plagued, poverty-stricken, and frustrated streets of Harlem in the 1950s, the setting…show more content…
The development of the plot stands out as one of the most crucial elements of the story. From the very beginning, the narrator discovers that Sonny has been arrested for his drug use. This action engenders the narrator to reflect on his relationship with Sonny. The discovery of Sonny 's arrest quickly conveys to us a point that is so central to the story. Following the introduction of plot is the conflict. The conflict of the story centers around the narrator and Sonny arguing about Sonny 's decision to become a jazz musician. This conflict,however, has happened before the situation in the introduction of the story but is mentioned further in the story. Sonny 's desire to become a jazz player is seen as a waste of time by the narrator. Consequently, tension is formed between the brothers because of their lack of agreement on the issue. The tension between the brothers gets even more complicated when Sonny moves into the narrator 's apartment. During this part of the story, the narrator and Sonny try to come to terms with themselves and each other. The climax of the story is when the narrator and Sonny argue in the apartment. This is the most important part of the story because both brothers have a brutally honest argument. The narrator discusses Sonny 's drug use, his misunderstanding of Sonny as a musician, and Sonny 's frustration in life. This argument between the two brothers resolves when Sonny invites the narrator to come hear him play. The
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