Sonny's Blues

1264 WordsApr 11, 20066 Pages
Sonny 's Blues A captivating tale of a relationship between two troubling brothers in Harlem, "Sonny 's Blues" is told from the perception of Sonny 's brother, whose name is never mentioned. Baldwin 's choice of Sonny 's brother as a narrator is what makes "Sonny 's Blues" significant in terms of illustrating the relationship and emotional complications of Sonny and his brother. The significance of "Sonny 's Blues" lies in the way Sonny 's brother describes their relationship based on what he observes, hears, and feels, and how he struggles trying to understand Sonny through the course of the story. This is a story of how two African Americans brothers take their own path through life as they struggle to find meaning in their lives.…show more content…
Their father spent many years struggling to support a family in an overtly racist Northern urban community. Sonny, by contrast, is a romantic artist who is not afraid of taking risks to pursue the things he desires. His passion for music makes him impatient with everything else. He drops out of school; however, he does try to stay away from danger. Sonny does want to live a respectable life without corruption. He does several things to try to escape this corruption; he tries to escape by joining the military, but fails. He tries to escape by using illicit drugs and fails. When life seems to take a toll on Sonny he immerses himself in his music. He realizes that his problems are real and that he can 't truly escape them. Music becomes his life as he plays to transform his pain and suffering into something beautiful depicted in his jazz and blues music. Perhaps there is no way that we can absolutely stay out of danger, like Sonny 's father said, "there is no safe place for anyone" (Baldwin 95). Sonny 's music offers an outlet for expressing the darkness within him while giving his life meaning. In the pivotal scene of "Sonny 's Blues," the narrator agrees to go with Sonny to the jazz nightclub. The narrator 's realization that he must accept Sonny as he is sets the stage for the narrator 's first trip to the
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