When identifying the common theme of Baldwin’s short stories “Sonny’s Blues” and “Going to Meet the Man”, it is clever to first distinguish the writing style of this creative author. Baldwin was a famous writer of his period because of the way he interpreted reality into a story. Around this point in America, racial tension and self-identity between cultures were at a peak and sparked many different ideas towards Baldwin’s writings. Baldwin intentionally expresses himself through his writings to create a realistic voice to his audience, making the story easy to capture a visual of. In one story in particular, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” Baldwin creates a novel exploring the religious conversion of a teenager whose stepfather is a preacher. This story sparked a popular yet perplexing tension between the audiences because Baldwin himself lives a homosexual lifestyle. Baldwin has always been noted to provide intense themes as the guideline of his writings and proves endlessly why he was one of the most remarkable writers of his time. Both short stories are based off of different characters who provide a complex plot as to what Baldwin is attempting to uncover. In “Sonny’s Blues” and “Going to Meet the Man”, the common theme of the two could be expressed several different ways but in simplicity, the wise choice would be oppression.
Though racial and sexual issues seem to continuously serve a main purpose in James Baldwin’s writings, oppression can be described as a useful theme in both “Sonny’s Blues and Going to Meet the Man”( Murphy 6). In “Sonny’s Blues” we meet the narrator, Sonny’s brother who runs into one of Sonny’s old friends who begins...
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...tch Sonny perform, he then experiences a realization as to why Sonny loves music so much (Riley 11). He also grasps that Sonny is essentially really respectable at what he wants to do.
In “Sonny’s Blues” and “Going to Meet the Man”, Baldwin creates two essentially different characters, settings, and stories but vastly remains with a conducted common theme, oppression. There are several different forms of oppression that one can suffer from, and it is possible to claim these different forms in numerous ways, but the way Baldwin approaches this oppression in these short stories creates an intense point of view to the audience. Baldwin constantly exaggerates the importance of the issues in his short stories without clearly stating them. In this method of Baldwin’s, it generates an exciting read for the audience all while keeping them on their toes.
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