Brotherly Love in Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin and Tobias Wolff´s The Rich Brother

Powerful Essays
"The complexity of "

In both "Sonny’s Blues" and "The Rich Brother", one of the two brothers encounters success through his life whereas the younger one does not follow the same path and constantly disappoints the other. Pete and Sonny’s brother unconditionally love their own brothers for numerous different reasons and they feel an obligation to the other. They believe that it is their duty to take care of Donald and Sonny, but at the same time they cannot or at least in the beginning understand what drives their brothers in life and moreover the reasons that push them to make the choices they are constantly making. Although Sonny’s bad decisions put him through a lot, he finally reinvents himself and proves to his brother his value. Unfortunately Donald does not evolve enough to meet his brother’s expectations. Both young brothers fail in their lives but for very different reasons. Sonny’s drugs addiction puts him to jail and Donald’s quest for the faith of his soul results in many issues with Pete. Nevertheless, Sonny’s brother sees and witnesses what his brother is really capable of, while sadly for Donald, Pete definitely cannot live with his brother’s way of living. "Sonny's Blues" and "The Rich Brother" are perfect examples of how brothers relationships are: full of love but paved with insurmountable obstacles at the same time. At the end of Sonny's story, both brothers can finally "see" each other and are able to live together, while unfortunately for Donald and Pete, it is impossible for them to reach an understanding.

The feeling of obligation that Pete and Sonny’s brother feel, results from their education. In both stories, the parents pass away and it puts the strongest brothers in front of their obligations as ...

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...remely complex and impregnated by love and hate is the main similarity between the two texts. Sonny, through his music, is successful in changing his brother’s idea of what he is supposed to do with his life. Unfortunately for Donald, Pete is not and might never be ready to accept him as the human being he wants to be. Drugs are the biggest factor in Sonny’s failure to live and to become a good brother and a true artist. On the other hand, for Donald, the fact of him being unwilling to change who he is and the fact that his brother is always there to save him impedes him from being the brother Peter wants him to be. With or without understanding each other, the love that these brothers share for one another keeps them from completely disappearing from each other’s life regardless of their differences and the obstacles that characterize their complex relationship.
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