Drugs In Sonny's Blues

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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…show more content…
Sonny’s friend happens to be expecting to see the narrator and the two begin walking together. They begin to converse about the narrator’s brother while the narrator begins to wonder if maybe the friend is to blame for Sonny being on drugs. At the same time the narrator feels sorry for Sonny’s friend, who is explaining to him how hard and painful his brother’s drug-addicted life has been. Time goes on and the narrator never writes Sonny. The only time he writes his brother is when his daughter Grace dies. In return Sonny writes a long letter back to the narrator, where he tries to explain why he has done what he has done throughout his life. The narrator and his brother start communicating with each other more. This leads to Sonny moving into the narrator’s family apartment when he is released from…show more content…
He also remembers the last day he seen his mother while on leave from the Army. His mother had told him to watch out for his brother. After speaking with his mother, the narrator went back to the Army and never thought of his brother again until his mother’s death. At the funeral, the two brothers sat and talked about Sonny’s plans for his future. Sonny told his brother that he had dreams of becoming a famous jazz musician. The narrator disagreed with his brother’s idea, so he arranged for Sonny to go live with his wife’s family and instead pursue college. Sonny did not want to do this but agreed to do so anyway. Sonny loved music so much but the rest of the family were not okay with the constant piano playing. Sonny had gotten into trouble for skipping school. When confronted by the mother of the family, he admitted to skipping class to go hangout with the musicians in Greenwich Village. After the confrontation, Sonny begins feeling like a heavy burden to the family: So two days later Sonny joins the Navy. The narrator never knows if his brother was dead or alive until one day receiving a post card from Greece from him. After the war the brothers return to New York but never hear from each other. The times that they did see other they got into arguments over the decisions Sonny has made in his life. Sonny tells the narrator that he is dead to after
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