Addiction 's Grip On Sonny 's Blues Essay

Addiction 's Grip On Sonny 's Blues Essay

Length: 928 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Addiction’s Grip on Sonny
It was the emptiness. It wasn’t that I needed it to make me better at something, it wasn’t that it calmed me down, or that it made think better, it was the emptiness that made me go back, the need to fill a void with something, anything. My struggle with depression and mental illness is what led me to my addiction, just as it was for Sonny. There was an undying need to feel something more, to stop the depression, the anxiety. I took that first pill at 16, and it still hasn’t left my body. It is forever a companion to me. In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the character of Sonny also faces the suffering of drug addiction and clearly depicts the slippery slope into addiction.
The first pill wasn’t where the problem started. Just as Sonny’s first shot of heroine wasn’t where his problem began. It was the constant depression. I tried to distract myself from the hole in me that is was creating. I picked up a creative outlet: art, just like Sonny chose music. When Sonny, as a teenager, went to live Isabel and her family, the narrator says that “Sonny was playing for his life,” and as I began to draw and paint, I felt this kind of emotion too. I would eat sleep, and draw; it was my life. Sonny is playing to cover up his own depression, to distract himself from it, and since it is the only thing to distract him, the only thing he feels is the drive to play. Without it, he has no life, no reason to get up every morning. Running from his own depression is what ultimately leads to Sonny’s addiction.
There a came a point in my life where even creating the most complicated works of art did nothing to fill my void. I began to lack creativity, and it seemed like I wasn’t gaining any skill, only losing it. I knew t...

... middle of paper ...

... it, yet, all the same, I knew everything I was doing was locking me in with it.” Sonny is describing the dilemma that all addicts face: wanting to stop, but not being in control, not being able to, being trapped and feeling like there is no way out..
But even after all the suffering, the soul searching, the agonizing days of withdrawals, the constant emptiness that finally gets solved, addiction never ends, and “Sonny’s Blues” shows the dark truth that lingers behind the happy ending of Sonny recovering. Even as a recovered addict, I still have a constant fear of one day returning to my old habits. It is a fear that walks with me every day, a thought that always lingers over my shoulders. The same fear that Sonny admits to his brother. “It can come again, I just wanted you to know that,” he says, warning his brother that he may again lose the endless battle.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Search of Sonny: Sonny’s Blues

- Sonny, the title character of James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues,” is about a young man whom is struggling in life. As a young African American born in Harlem, the burden of being poor, black, and trapped within the confines of his community, he is aware of the limits and obstacles he faces. Baldwin uses the part where Sonny moved away from Harlem, his afterlife from prison, and his love for music to show us that he symbolizes the search for identity significance. After the death of his mother, his only older brother left to the army, and he was forced to live with his brother’s girlfriend, Isabel, their family....   [tags: harlem, james baldwin, sonny blues]

Better Essays
580 words (1.7 pages)

Araby and Sonny's Blues as Quest Narratives Essay

- The quest narrative is a common method of narration present in almost every adventure story in one form or another. One key characteristic which defines all quest narratives, irrespective of type, is the search for a “Holy Grail” – symbolic of something the protagonist desires. In a quest narrative it is often appropriate to refer to the protagonist as the hero. However, despite the connotations of the word “hero” to a figure who is flawless in both form and disposition, the hero usually does not begin the story as a perfect figure; the hero must undergo a series of trials and tribulations to which the hero emerges as a changed character....   [tags: Araby, Sonny's Blues]

Better Essays
1491 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis of the Short Story: Sonny’s Blues

- “Sonny’s Blues” is considered as one of Baldwin’s first short stories. Initially printed in the 1957 Partisan Review, “Sonny’s Blues” revolves around the narrator as he gets to learn who his drug-hooked, piano-playing baby brother, Sonny, really is. Set in Harlem, similar to numerous of Baldwin’s former works; “Sonny’s Blues” is a steady struggle involving light and darkness, disappointment and salvation (Kim 71). The story was incorporated in the short-story anthology “Going to Meet the Man” published in 1965....   [tags: the metamorphosis, baldwin, sonny blues]

Better Essays
1636 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about An Analysis of Baldwin's, Sonny's Blues

- An Analysis of Baldwin's, Sonny's Blues Sipiora identifies the critcal issues in Sonny's Blues with the character giving his self-reflections. Sipiora also says that literary characters sometimes perceive or not perceive the relationships or circumstances. We also have to judge characters in how they react to other characters whether they acted in good faith or not in good faith. We have to ask ourselves when we read literature if the character is being objective looking for personal qualities in a character when they come in contact with another character or is the character looking at another character in a judgemental, stereotypical, or preconceived way of thinking....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Free Essays
525 words (1.5 pages)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay

- Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" is a story about two brothers, their past, and how their differences came between them. They were apart for several years while Sonny was in jail, but once he got out they had a chance to mend their pasts. "Sonny's Blues" is a well written story that teaches a lesson that has value in every day life. The tone is melancholy and reminiscent. The brother is remembering the past and reflection on the mistakes he and Sonny made. He is sad over their fallout, Sonny's trouble with drugs, and the death of his daughter....   [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]

Better Essays
501 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

- There are many things we learn of Sonny and his nameless brother in Sonny's Blues. We learn their mannerisms, hobbies, occupations, and even their addictions. It seems we learn nearly everything about the pair; minus the narrators name, as previously stated. Hearing of their histories and the pains they've under gone, we see how they deal with their pain, which often truly tells character. Sonny's Blues isn't a story of two brothers living in a rough city; one of whom is a talented musician. The story is so much more, it's the point of tossing the main two stereotypes of African-Americans in an urban environment....   [tags: James Baldwin Sonny's Blues]

Better Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin Essay example

- Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin 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....   [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]

Better Essays
1217 words (3.5 pages)

The Inevitability of Suffering in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Essays

- The Inevitability of Suffering in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Everyone likes to feel safe. We try to protect ourselves and those we love, to make them feel safe as well. The idea conveyed about safety in James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" is that there is no such thing. The narrator of this story had thought that his brother Sonny was safe. Or at least, that was what he had made himself believe. "I told myself that Sonny was wild, but he wasn't crazy. And he'd always been a good boy, he hadn't ever turned hard or evil or disrespectful, the way kids can, so quick, so quick, especially in Harlem....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Better Essays
870 words (2.5 pages)

Essay Siblings' Relationship in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues

- Siblings' Relationship in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Eminent psychologists have made convincing arguments for the effect birth order has on personality. In addition, laymen can cite innumerable examples of domineering, pragmatic, reliable older siblings contrasting with those fitting the "youngest stereotype" -- irresponsible, spoiled, and selfish. Such character traits often cause lifelong conflict between siblings. In his short story "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin shows a profound example of such sibling friction....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Better Essays
1606 words (4.6 pages)

The Power of Music in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Essay

- The Power of Music in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues At first glance, "Sonny's Blues" seems ambiguous about the relationship between music and drugs. After all, the worlds of jazz and drug addiction are historically intertwined; it could be possible that Sonny's passion for jazz is merely an excuse for his lifestyle and addiction, as the narrator believes for a time. Or perhaps the world that Sonny has entered by becoming involved in jazz is the danger- if he had not encountered jazz he wouldn't have encountered drugs either....   [tags: Sonny's Blues Essays]

Better Essays
1545 words (4.4 pages)