(105) Sonny searches to find ways versus using drugs; he even goes into the service. He struggles with his suffering difficulties, and tries to escape from the ghetto, but drugs seem to be how he fits in his troubled society, so he becomes one of the society. His realistic method to his pain and suffering is dealing and using heroin; therefore, he ends up in jail. During his incarceration he begins working on his music, so when he gets out he has a career. During the time in prison, blues seems to be the music he can relate to, and it helps with his pain and suffering.
The narrator has assimilated into society as much as possible, but still understands his limits as a black man. Contrarily, Sonny has never tried to conform and travels a troubled path trying find an outlet for the deep pain and suffering that his status as a permanent outcast forces upon him. Sonny channels his suffering into music and he and his brother are finally able to connect through something in which they never thought existed: the light that Sonny's dark world birthed. Works Cited Baldwin, James. “Sonny’s Blues.” The Jazz Fiction Anthology.
Life comes with many struggles and gives strength to those who face them. James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” is about the struggles and hardships that every day people face. This story is about an aspiring musician, Sonny, Baldwin’s main character, whose life is portrayed through the eyes of his older brother. Because of Sonny’s lifestyle, his brother has lost touch with him for many years, but after a terrible tragedy the narrator reaches out to Sonny and tries to mend their relationship. Sonny is a recovering drug addict and as the story goes on, it seems as if Sonny has changed, but in reality he did not change, his brother just comes to realization that he cannot change him, but only accept and respect the man that he is and the man that he’s striving to be.
They were not about anything very new. He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen.” (pg 148) Through the Blues, Sonny has the means to fill the air with life; his life” (pg 145) and the narrator starts to really hear the music. Sonny’s dangerous, drunken blends of music and raw notes from the heart cause the narrator to remember the great misfortune of his parents and the death of his beloved daughter. The narrator realizes why Sonny chose the life he did: unsafe and sorrowful, but infinitely more satisfying in the end.
Sonny's brother point of view is shared in this story as he feels responsible to keep his brother safe. The brother learns to listen throughout this story to better understand Sonny's life. This story is primarily about Sonny's brothers' life, how he struggled in his life and how he is now watching his younger brother Sonny go through the same situation. He worries about Sonny's life; that Sonny might not be able to escape the turmoil that life brings especially being a musician with no ties to family and job security. Sonny's brother sees Sonny trying to become a jazz musician, he watches and listens as Sonny goes through many difficulties in life.
Sonny’s inability to communicate properly contributes to the misunderstandings he has in life, especially with his brother the narrator. Though Sonny’s music speaks to more than just his and his brother’s relationship, it tells the story of Sonny. The story is titled “Sonny’s Blues” though evidence in the story suggest that Sonny plays a genre of Jazz known a bebop. Blues is described in the story as a “tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.”(Baldwin) In the story blues are not a genre in music but rather the a symbol of Sonny’s suffering that ends in triumph. Sonny has strayed away from musical path for too long.
James Baldwin, the author of “Sonny Blues,” is an African American novelist and storywriter. In one of his most famous stories, “Sonny’s Blues,” he writes about a young boy that has an addiction to heroin. The story shows the relationship between two brothers and the problems that they, and their family have to endure. The brothers do not have a close bond during the time that the story takes place. James Baldwin, while growing up also dealt with many family issues.
When first reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, it may initially seem that the relationship between musicians and drugs is synonymous. Public opinion suggests that musicians and drugs go hand and hand. The possibility lies that Sonny’s passion for jazz music is the underlying reason for his drug use, or even the world of jazz music itself brought drugs into Sonny’s life. The last statement is what the narrator believes to be true. However, by delving deeper and examining the theme of music in the story, it is nothing but beneficial for Sonny and the other figures involved.
The narrator often blamed Sonny’s musical friends or his career choice as the reason for Sonny’s drug problem. In truth though it was a way for Sonny to deal with the suffering he saw in the world and he felt himself. Sonny felt good when he was playing music or shooting up so he thought those were salvation. When Sonny played his blues it gave him an outlet for the sadness that his soul held, and when he did heroin he was able to forget about it. For Sonny the two had very little to do with each other that can be seen in the scene when the brothers talk about his addiction and his career path, Sonny says, “ ‘It’s not so much to play.
The younger man is Sonny, a jazz pianist who, when the story opens, has just been arrested for peddling and using heroin. In Sonny's Blues, chronological time is upset yet the author, Baldwin, allows everything to come together in the end. In "Sonny's Blues" the tragedy and suffering can be transformed into an art such as blues music. This can be viewed as a catalyst for change, as the narrator begins to understand not only the music, but also himself and his relationship with Sonny. The narrator learns his brother Sonny has been arrested from reading the newspaper and this disturbing discovery initiates the two brothers growing closeness.