Sonny 's Blues By James Baldwin

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Sonny’s Blues
“Sonny’s Blues” was written by James Baldwin. Some of the main characters of the short story are family members that include the narrator, his brother Sonny, their mother, the narrator’s wife Isabel, his father and their uncle. Sonny’s friend is also a main character in the story, but was not in the least helpful to Sonny. The characters live in Harlem and try to survive in very trying circumstances of crime, violence and poverty. Even though the main characters are all struggling to make it in the violent crime ridden neighborhood of Harlem, they interact and help Sonny to fulfill his dream of playing his music for a living.
First, the narrator is Sonny’s older brother. He is narrating the story in the first person point of view. He appears to be a successful man who is an algebra teacher with a family of a wife and two children (190). He lives in Harlem where many of the young men there are not doing as well. Many are unemployed or living in circumstances that have them work in undesirable jobs. Compared to the other young men, the narrator had escaped the streets. The narrator describes what he sees in Harlem in detail. The narrator copes with living in Harlem by not getting emotionally involved in its problems that surround him. He tries to distance himself away from it. He is also an articulate man. He describes, for instance, the housing projects as “rocks in the middle of a boiling sea” (text 195).the boiling sea is the violent neighborhood of Harlem.

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