Point of View and Theme in Sonny’s Blues Essay

771 Words 4 Pages
In James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues, he describes a story of pain and prejudice. The theme of suffering makes the readers relate to it. The story is told in the realistic point of view of Sonny’s brother. The setting and time of the story also has great significance to the story. From beginning to end, the story is well developed. The short story is narrated by Sonny’s older brother. He is a school a responsible school teacher, with a family of his own. The story begins by the brother, whose name is unidentified in the story, finding out that his young brother Sonny got arrested for possession and selling drugs, specifically heroin. He is the type of older brother that is protective yet he is angry for what his brother has …show more content…
When his brother asked him what he wanted to do, he quickly responded “I’m going to be a musician.” There wasn’t any thinking needed; he knew exactly what he wanted in life. Though the brother’s point of view we get to see how unimpressed he was that Sonny wanted to be a musician. “It seemed -beneath him, somehow,” Sonny’s brother wrote. Though the story is well written in the point of view that it is told in, the weaknesses are that the readers don’t get to see everything through Sonny’s eyes and see his struggles.
The setting of this story takes place in Harlem in the 1960’s. Though in 1954 when the Brown vs. Broad case found that racially segregates schools were not equal at all, there was still the transition where blacks were still being treated unequally. Harlem was not the ideal living area, but for Sonny and his family it was what they could afford. This may have to do with why Sonny got into drugs. He was in a primarily black community where there wasn’t much opportunity for them to do the things they wanted. It may have been the people Sonny would hang out with, the thought that he wasn’t going anywhere in life, or the thought that his family needed more money, that made him ultimately resort to selling drugs.
The theme of this story can be expressed as a story of suffering and racism. Though the theme may be thought of as just about a young boy who gets himself in trouble with drugs and tries to redeem himself by his passion of music; it
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