In James Baldwin's, - ''Sonny's Blues'' - The narrator tells the story of the complicated relationship with his brother, Sonny. Although they seem to be distant - at the same time they also maintain the love, brother's share for one another. The story really hit home with me because of the similarities in the relationship between the narrator and his brother. I found they were really similar to the one with me and my older brother. While I filled more of the role of Sonny, my brother played more of the role of the narrator. They both grew up in the inner-city (like ourselves) and also shared a fairly large age gap. In the story the younger brother - Sonny, struggles with a sense of direction in life and in doing so gets lost in the world of heroin addiction - While at the same time battling those demons with his music. I also struggled with a sense of direction in my own life and let myself be consumed by my vices.
In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the unspoken brotherly bond between the narrator and his younger brother Sonny is illustrated through the narrator’s point of view. The two brothers have not spoken in years until the narrator receives a letter from Sonny after his daughter dies. He takes this moment as an important sign from Sonny and feels the need to respond. While both Sonny and the narrator live in separate worlds, all Sonny needs is a brother to care for him while the narrator finds himself in the past eventually learning his role as an older brother.
As "Sonny's Blues" opens, the narrator tells of his discovery that his younger brother has been arrested for selling and using heroin. Both brothers grew up in Harlem, a neighborhood rife with poverty and despair. Though the narrator teaches school in Harlem, he distances himself emotionally from the people who live there and their struggles and is somewhat judgmental and superior. He loves his brother but is distanced from him as well and judgmental of his life and decisions. Though Sonny needs for his brother to understand what he is trying to communicate to him and why he makes the choices he makes, the narrator cannot or will not hear what Sonny is trying to convey. In distancing himself from the pain of upbringing and his surroundings, he has insulated himself from the ability to develop an understanding of his brother's motivations and instead, his disapproval of Sonny's choice to become a musician and his choices regarding the direction of his life in general is apparent. Before her death, his mother spoke with him regarding his responsibilities to Sonny, telling him, "You got to hold on to your brother...and don't let him fall, no matter what it looks like is happening to him and no matter how evil you get with him...you may not be able to stop nothing from happening. But you got to let him know you're there" (87) His unwillingness to really hear and understand what his brother is trying to tell him is an example of a character failing to act in good faith.
In James Baldwin's, - ''Sonny's Blues'' - The narrator tells the story of the complicated relationship with his brother, Sonny. Although they seem to be distant - at the same time they also seem to maintain the love for one's own sibling. The story really hit home with me because of the similarities in the relationship between the narrator and his brother - I found they were really similar to the one with me and my older brother. While I filled more of the role of sonny, my brother played more of the role of the narrator. They both grew up in the inner-city (like ourselves) and also shared a fairly large age gap. In the story the younger brother - Sonny, struggles with a sense of direction in life and in doing so gets lost in
In James Baldwin’s ‘Sonny’s Blues,” an unnamed narrator attempts to understand his brother’s way of life. The two men experience the suffering that goes along with living in the projects of Harlem, New York. After a conversation with his mother, the narrator promises he will take care of his brother, Sonny. The story in and of itself is a constant struggle between the narrator trying to keep the promise to his mother and trying to understand Sonny’s life choices. When Sonny is arrested for using a dealing heroin, one of his friends gave the narrator full disclosure when he tells him Sonny’s life has and always will be difficult. The narrator writes to Sonny on jail after he experiences grief. Sonny writes back, trying to describe how his choices have led him to this point in life. At the end of the story, the two brothers watch a street revival. Sonny relates the revivalist’s voice to how heroin feels and explains his drug addiction and suffering. Following that, Sonny invites the narrator to watch him play. The narrator hears Sonny’s struggles within the music and understands why music is life or death for Sonny. The ability to cope with suffering is explored. The short story Baldwin’s
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 conversing with Sonny’s brother about Sonny’s recent arrest. Sonny’s old friend tells the narrator that he “can’t much help Sonny no more” which upsets him because it makes him realize how much he had given up on trying to help his brother. Sonny was suffering from drug abuse, and was in desperate need of a savior. After the
Analysis of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin In the story of “Sonny’s Blues,” by Baldwin, the beginning of the story finds Sonny’s brother on his way to work reading about Sonny’s predicament. Sonny got arrested for “peddling and using heroin.” He didn’t want to believe that his brother was in trouble. While teaching his algebra class he was thinking about the past.
The short story Sonny’s Blues was written by an author name James Baldwin in (1957). The narrative of the story talks about his younger brother who was busted for heroin. The younger brother is known as Sonny’s. The narrator continue with his normal life as a school teacher as if he did not just find out terrible news about his younger brother. However, he could not get the fact that his younger brother was busted for heroin out his mind. The author never wrote Sonny until the author daughter had gotten really sick. From there you can see how the two brothers was related and what they have been through in their life. We learned that the brothers had lost both their parents. As the author continue he describe his father to be a drunken man who
“Sonny’s Blue’s” is a first-person, point of view story by an unknown and nameless narrator, found to be Sonny’s brother. While on the surface it appears to be a story about Sonny and his decisions, the true depth of the story lies in the brother’s narration, which details how his brother’s choices and ultimate struggles affected the narrator. Ultimately, “Sonny’s Blues” is two stories in one. One provides an in-depth view of brotherhood, family, and the relationship between the narrator and his brother, while on the other edge of the sword, it is Sonny’s story.
James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is relatable for those who have a sibling. Family is universal, making this short story relatable whether drugs are involved. In the beginning, an unnamed narrator is introduced. He discovers through reading a newspaper that his brother, Sonny, has been arrested. Sonny had been using and selling heroin at the time of his arrest. The narrator is an algebra teacher preparing to teach his class. His class happens to be filled with majority young boys. He realizes that some of his students could someday end up like Sonny, considering the hardships that they had to go through as children growing up in Harlem. At the end of the school day, the narrator begins heading home when he thinks he has spotted Sonny. Instead