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Critical Analysis Of Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

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The short story Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin is written in first person through the narrator. This story focuses on the narrator’s brother sonny and their relationship throughout the years. This story is taken place in Harlem, New York in the 1950s. The narrator is a high school algebra teacher and just discovered his brother in the newspaper. This story includes the traditional elements to every story, which consist of the exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution. First, the exposition of this story starts with the narrator who discovers Sonny in the newspaper for using and selling heroin. As he reads the paper on the subway he couldn’t believe what he had read. This made him reminisce the days that…show more content…
This issue becomes a conflict for the two siblings that grows tension among each other. Sonny expresses to the narrator that he wants to become a jazz musician. For example, the narrator explains, “It seemed- beneath him, somehow. I had never thought about it before, had never been force to, but I suppose I had always putt jazz musicians in a class with what Daddy called “good-time people” (pg. 86). In my opinion I think the narrator feels appalled that his brother wants to become a jazz musician because he thinks of them as people who hang around clubs and clown around. Both siblings don’t see eye to eye, the narrator sees it as Sonny wasting his time and Sonny sees it as being his career. The exposition of the narrator finding his younger brother in a newspaper resulted on reconnecting their relationship. Also, the conflict of the two siblings was their argument of not seeing the same…show more content…
The narrator allows Sonny to move into his apartment. By allowing Sonny to live with him he has allowed to trust him again. For example, the narrator explains, “The idea of searching Sonny’s room made me still. I scarcely dared to admit to myself what I’d be searching for. I didn’t know what I’d do if I found it. Or if I didn’t” (pg. 91). This shows how the narrator had the opportunity to search his brother’s room, but had the ability not to. Tension grew among brothers while living under one roof. This starts the climax of both arguing in the apartment. The narrator doesn’t understand why his brother wants to be a musician. This argument was built of emotion both had and not yet discussed among each other. Such as the narrator expressing his anger towards his brother’s drug use and Sonny’s frustration towards the narrator not understanding his plan to become a jazz musician. For example, the narrator states, “I realized, with this mocking look, that there stood between us, forever, beyond the power of time or forgiveness, the fact that I had held silence – so long! – when he had needed human speech to help him” (pg.94). The argument with his brother made him realize that he abandon his younger brother when he needed him the most. He realized that if he would have spoken out and talk about his drug use that he wouldn’t have to go
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