The bond of brotherhood is a prize to be cherished by those who know this bond. There is no better friendship than that of siblings, no matter how far apart geographically two brothers may be; they are always brought together by the bond in their heart. Even when brothers do not see eye to eye or have an argument, they will still be brothers and be a part of each other and their lives. The story, Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin uses many literary devices throughout this story such as his use of symbolism, his use of the setting and his use on tone to demonstrate the theme in the story, which is the strength of the bonds of brotherhood.
In Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues" two brothers try to live out their lives in the ghetto. This is an urban tale that takes place in some part of Harlem. Sonny tries to live his life as he wants but his brother tries to live his life as a provider for his family. They suffer, survive, and learn while trying to live out their life. This story begins when the narrator finds out that his younger brother has been arrested for either using or selling heroin. The narrator's first response is that its Sonny's problem "what the hell can I do" about it (232). This reaction tells the reader that the narrator is alienated from his brother, who has taken up a life of music and drugs.
In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the narrator, described as a responsible husband and father, as well as a high school algebra teacher, read a newspaper about his estranged brother, who has been arrested for selling and using heroin. On the other hand, his brother, Sonny, is a musician living in a much different life than his. The narrator does not make any contact with Sonny for several months because he prefers not to. He does not approve of Sonny’s drug use and feels isolated with his brother’s style of jazz music. However, when the narrator’s daughter dies of polio, he felt obliged to finally contact him. On his release from prison, he moves in with his brother’s family and after a couple of weeks, Sonny invites him to hear him play
In “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, Baldwin discusses how people never really know how much they need to appreciate a family member, until they actually really need that person. Sonny’s brother is determined to fix the relationship with him, but instead of doing it in a friendship/brotherly way, he does it in a psychological way. The story describes the complicated relationship between two brothers, who don’t really know each other very well. The narrator learns from a newspaper on the train that his younger brother, Sonny, has recently been incarcerated. The narrator currently works at an elementary school and after the day is over, he spots one of Sonny’s old friends hanging around outside of the school. They soon after take a walk and have
James Baldwin, in his short story “Sonny’s Blues”, depicts a turbulent relationship between two brothers. As the narrator and his brother are haunted by personal trauma and addiction respectively, the reader’s sympathy towards them shifts drastically. Baldwin masterfully exemplifies control of this sympathy through the positive and negative characterization of both the narrator and Sonny.
This is quite evident after the demise of their mother whereby the narrator intends to know as the eldest brother what Sonny intends to do in life before returning to war. He contends, “I’m going to be a musician (Baldwin 133).” This does not go well with the narrator who deems other people can embrace that life’s path but not his brother, hence brewing a discrepancy and misunderstanding amid them. It is through Sonny’s choice of pursuing jazz that unveils numerous flaws that characterizes their relationship with the narrator who insist of him completing the school first but eventually admits reluctantly. The extent of confusion and misunderstanding his Sonny is evident how the narrator can hardly imagine him in life he will be hanging in nightclubs in the company of others whom he refers as “good-time-people” (Baldwin 134). Probably, it is Sonny’s choice of jazz career that leads to long durations of silence among them without keeping in touch because the narrator feels his younger brother opted to embracing wrong life. In addition, the instilled notion of how reckless “good-time-people” (134) were by his father yielded to him fighting with Sonny for leading a loose life (Baldwin
... down the path that led astray but he found his way through the woods. In the meantime, Sonny helped his straight shooting brother find a greater understanding of himself and those around him. When Sonny's sibling listened to the music and found the meaning it had it lead him to an appreciation for the jazz. That performance helped him understand Sonny better than ever, and he also got in touch with himself and his feelings humanizing him. With Baldwin's skills he tackled the subject of labels due to the color of skin and showed just how shallow they are and their untruth in relation to these particular individuals in the story of Sonny's Blues.
With the narrator having a responsibility to take care of his brother, he consistently forces the fact that he wants his brother to be well off and not care about his passion in music. The older they got, the more they drove away from each other because of the fact the narrator becomes overly protective with Sonny, and uses a “tough love” strategy though it does not making any positive effect. After they took some time apart, they both realized they cannot emotionally make it in this world without one
James Baldwin in his short story “Sonny’s Blues” illuminates the reader’s presumption of the narrator and Sonny by showing how they both change throughout the story. Baldwin successfully allows us to see how they both impacted each other’s lives. James Baldwin helps the readers understand the character’s change through present and past tense.
James Baldwin was an African-American writer who grew up in Harlem and was considered one of the 20th century’s greatest writers. He achieved this status through his use of racial and social issues within many of his masterpieces. His experience with discrimination, poverty, and drugs lead him to write many short stories about the struggles African-Americans faced in America. His style is considered one of the most distinctive styles in American literature. “Sonny’s Blues” was one of James Baldwin’s earlier masterpieces and is set in Harlem, New York just like many of his other literary works of art. The short story is about two estranged African-American brothers and how “that relationship has moved through phases of separation and return”