James Tackach wrote that it should not come as a surprise that Baldwin would use stories or references from the Bible as a foundation for his literature (109). Baldwin was practically raised in the church. Born in the Harlem District of New York on August 2, 1924, he grew up poor with 8 siblings in a very religious home. Baldwin’s stepfather was a preacher and strict authoritarian which lead to a very tumultuous relationship (Champion 5). At the age of fourteen, Baldwin began preaching at a Pentecostal church, however, that did not last. He became disenchanted with the church and left. At eighteen he moved to New Jersey. Later in his life, he moved to Greenwich Village area of New York, which was known for its abundance of artists and writers. He later left the states because of the uprising of racism and settled in France until his death (Champion 5). At the age of 63, Baldwin died in Saint-Paul de Vence, France.
Perhaps the most compelling and obvious use of biblical reference is the ending line of the story. While Sonny’s band takes a break, the narrator buys Sonny a drink. The drink is set upon Sonny’s piano, but he does not immediately drink from the cup, but just before the band began to ...
... middle of paper ...
...kness could represent the battle between good and evil.
“Critical discussion of “Sonny’s Blues” has centered on secular matter. Acknowledging the complex interweaving of biblical text that forms the foundation of Baldwin’s short story allows readers the chance to understand and appreciate Baldwin’s significant debt to biblical literature and to grapple with the religious and moral issues at the core of this Christian writer’s most important literary effort” (Byerman 111). Baldwin is a very poignant writer and the majority of his stories are influenced by his experiences during his life. “Sonny’s Blues” is no exception as Baldwin poetically weaves religion and his beliefs through the short story. Even though Baldwin left the religious society at a young age, it was never truly able to leave his writing as evident in “Sonny’s Blues” and his other published works.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin makes biblical themes a crucial part in this short story by comparing biblical themes to scenes from the story. There were many ways that biblical themes were present in Sonny’s Blues as James Baldwin made references from the bible such as the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, the story of “The Probable Son” and the book of Isaiah, which talks about the Cup of Trembling. His comparisons are supported by James Tackach’s The Biblical Foundation of James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”.... [tags: Cain and Abel, Book of Genesis]
1253 words (3.6 pages)
- Family plays a key role in all societies and cultures, and happiness is the direct result of the love within a family. The text discussed in the family theme has portrayed examples of both happy and very unhappy families. Three pieces of literature that discuss themes pertaining to the happiness and well-being of a family are Daddy, Sonny’s Blues, and On Going Home. While some of the themes raised in these works such as forgiveness and unconditional love are vital in order for families to be happy, themes involving change and loss are most certainly not necessary in contributing to a family’s happiness.... [tags: Daddy, Sonny's Blues, On Going Home]
977 words (2.8 pages)
- Themes in Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin After reading the short story "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, I find there are two major themes that Baldwin is trying to convey, suffering and irony. The first theme that he brings out and tries to get the reader to understand is the theme of suffering. The second theme that the author illustrates is the theme of irony. James Baldwin writes about two African-American brothers growing up in Harlem, a black ghetto in New York, during the 1950's. During this time black people were forced to live in a world of prejudice, discrimination, poverty and suppression.... [tags: American Literature Sonny's Blues Baldwin Essays]
1013 words (2.9 pages)
- ... Harry was resurrected by Albus Dumbledore in a way. After Voldemort tried to murder him a second time using the killing curse Harry went into a dream state where he met with Dumbledore who gave him a choice to live or die. Jesus and Harry are more alike than people think. It's not just because they both died for the people around them. Jesus Christ stripped the devil of his powers just like Harry stripped Voldemort of his. They both saw the enemy, stood up to them and they conquered. Fawkes, the Phoenix is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.... [tags: christ, dying, sacrifice]
692 words (2 pages)
- 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]
580 words (1.7 pages)
- In the world of Harlem, New York the cruelties of the world become incandescently prominent. James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” addresses the foreboding power of pain in a world where someone’s coping skills dictate the course of their life. The story depicts a person’s options to ignore pain, create a reason for pain, or accept pain and live within it. Baldwin explains the theme of pervasive pain and parent’s attempt to shield children from it through the characters. Their reaction to pain constructs a motif of pain management.... [tags: Sonny’s Blues Essays]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- 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]
501 words (1.4 pages)
- Religious Themes in Oryx and Crake It is in these representations of Snowman that I believe Atwood is making a definitive statement as to whether God created man or whether man creates God. Undoubtedly Atwood is suggesting that man inevitably, despite of himself, creates God, with or without outside assistance. It seems that throughout the novel there is an extended metaphor of Snowman as various figures from the Christian bible. The first figure that Snowman can be said to represent is that of Adam, the first man, though the similarities between the two characters do not follow the same chronology.... [tags: World Literature Religion Oryx Crake Essays]
986 words (2.8 pages)
- Biblical Themes in Shakespeare’s The Tempest Shakespeare is one of the most prolific and admired writers who ever lived. He certainly knew his craft and was familiar with all of the literature available at the time. One of the greatest books ever written was of course the bible. Written over the course of more than a thousand years it is a miracle in itself that the book exists. Shakespeare knew his bible, and his work often incorporated and examined biblical themes. Shakespeare’s last completed work was The Tempest, and it is as complex and deeply moving as any of his works.... [tags: essays research papers]
1700 words (4.9 pages)
- Religious Themes of the Sixteenth Century: The Seven Deadly Sins, Death, and Damnation Religion in the Sixteenth Century was a major point of contention, especially for Elizabethans. In the midst of the Reformation, England was home to supporters of two major religious doctrines, including the Catholics and the Puritans. Three dominant themes that came out of this debate were sin, death and damnation. Important elements of Christian religions, these themes were often explored in the form of the seven deadly sins and the consequential damnation.... [tags: Religion History Religious Papers]
3007 words (8.6 pages)
- The Modest Beliefs, Genuine Heart, and Generous Will of Jay Gatsby in Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
- The Brain And Electricity: The Siamese Syndrome
- "A Remote Posting" Analysis
- Three Western Religions and their View on Women: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
- Women With A Mask
- The African-American Male