Sonny's Blues James Baldwin Analysis

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In “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, Baldwin discusses how people never really know how much they need to appreciate a family member, until they actually really need that person. Sonny’s brother is determined to fix the relationship with him, but instead of doing it in a friendship/brotherly way, he does it in a psychological way. The story describes the complicated relationship between two brothers, who don’t really know each other very well. The narrator learns from a newspaper on the train that his younger brother, Sonny, has recently been incarcerated. The narrator currently works at an elementary school and after the day is over, he spots one of Sonny’s old friends hanging around outside of the school. They soon after take a walk and have…show more content…
Wilson writes, “The experiences of Sonny are shown through the eyes of the story’s narrator, Sonny’s brother. The unnamed narrator is a high school algebra teacher who grew up in Harlem but has made an attempt to escape its cruel streets by getting a good job and integrating himself, as best he can, into white society” (Wilson 248). Wilson is trying to say that the narrator is trying to escape all of his pain and struggles by filling his life with everything that he thinks is good. He tries to take his mind off of Harlem’s cruel streets by with his job as a teacher. Though it probably worked for some time, he starts to think that his students might end up like Sonny, and any one else who has fallen under drug addiction because of living in Harlem. The narrator would imagine that his students are in the bathroom, during break, doing heroine. The narrator thinks that if he can fit into the white society, then he would be immune to all of Harlem’s hardships and street problems, and hopefully not end up like his…show more content…
“Sonny’s Blues.” Literature A Portable Anthology. 2nd Ed. ,

“Sonny 's Blues." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 245-262. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.

Kinnamon, Keneth. "Baldwin, James 1924-." American Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies, Supplement 1. Ed. Leonard Unger. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 1979. 47-71. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Mar.
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