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The Changes In The Narrators View Of Sonny Essay

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The Changes in the Narrator's View of Sonny

Can one know another's thoughts? Through dialogue, actions, and events, the thoughts and views of a man of whom we know not even a name are shown. The man is the narrator of "Sonny's Blues" and his thoughts we are shown are those directed towards his brother. Over the course of the story, there are three major stages or phases that the narrator goes through, in which his thoughts about his brother change. We see that those stages of thought vary greatly over the narrator's life, from confusion about his brother to understanding. Each phase brings different views of his own responsibility toward his brother, his brother's manhood, and his brother's sense of reality.

Through out the
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Therefore, whenever he did something for Sonny it was because his mother had wanted him to, not because he cared about Sonny. As soon as taking care of Sonny stopped working with his schedule, he sent him to his mother-in-law's house. During the story, however, a long separation brought the narrator into his second stage of thinking, and changed his views of Sonny. The narrator recognized that Sonny wasn't just a kid any more. Sonny had been in the Navy and had been living on his own for some time. Yet he didn't see him as a man either. "He was a man by then, of course, but I wasn't willing to see it."(52) He saw Sonny as a teenager of sorts. Sonny dressed strangely, became family with strange friends, and listened to still stranger music." In the narrator's eyes, Sonny foolishly thought he knew everything. Even though the narrator's views on Sonny's manhood changed, during the second stage his feelings about Sonny's sense of reality didn't. When he saw
Sonny after Sonny's stay in the Navy, the narrator still viewed Sonny as if he were on drugs. "He carried himself, loose and dreamlike all the time, ...and his music seemed to be merely an excuse for the life he led. It sounded just that weird and disordered."(52) He thought that Sonny had been driven even farther from reality than before. He thought that Sonny's view of reality was so distorted that he might as well have been
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