Sonny's Blues in Harlem

896 Words4 Pages
Everyone is born in different times with different opportunities. Some of us have to struggle to make ends meet and others are born with money at their feet already. “Sonny’s Blues” opens up in Harlem with the narrator on a bus reading a newspaper learning that his brother, Sonny, has been arrested for selling heroin. Sonny’s brother takes him in after he is released from jail. However, his brother is scared if he lets him back into his home he will fall into his old ways. Sonny’s true passion in life is to become a Jazz musician but his family doesn’t believe in what he wants to do. Sonny want’s his brother to go with him to a jazz club to see how he actually is and not just seeing him as a dope selling drug addict. At the end of Sonny’s set, he realizes that Jazz has helped Sonny to stay free and express himself. Through Marxist criticism Baldwin highlights the power struggle of the main characters and the world in which they live. First off, the two main characters that go through a power struggle are Sonny and his brother whom is unnamed. Sonny is an up and coming Jazz musician and his brother, seven years older, is a high school math teacher. Sonny is different than his brother because Sonny knows what he wants and he wants to give meaning in whatever he does. As Joseph Flibbert states in his article, “When Sonny begins to play the piano, initially with enthusiasm, eventually with consuming passion. He takes no lessons. He plays from the soul. The improvisational
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