Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

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"Sonny's Blues"

If you were not able to talk to anyone, nor did people want to listen to what you have to say, would that affect you? In the short story, "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin, Baldwin writes about two brothers, Sonny and the narrator, who lose communication between one another because Sonny goes to prison. The narrator, having to make a promise to their mother before her death, was to take care and watch over his young brother Sonny no matter what. This turned out not to be the case and the narrator did not pay much attention to his brother's goals as well as doings. By the end of the story, the audience realizes that the only place where the narrator can understand and feel for his brother is at the place where Sonny finds his passion, the jazz club. Why is communication such a big deal? Communication is a key essential for knowing ones' feelings and thoughts, whether communicating verbally, through body language, and even through music. The theme of "Sonny's Blues" is communication; the lack of being able to speak and to be heard can affect a person's achievements and failures throughout their life. The narrator lacks listening to Sonny's desires of becoming a musician, and does not oversee his brother's drug addiction because he was too caught up on his career as a mathematics teacher. The lack of communication can sometimes anger and confuse a person, which occurs with Sonny. How would the story change if the narrator gave attention to his younger brother? What did he need in order to resolve the distance between them? Communication was needed. Effective communication involves listening to another person speak while giving positive feedback. Sonny finds his way of getting through to people by playi...

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...the world of passion to them. If there were not able to talk and be heard out in society, jazz was the only way they were able to accomplish that. Everybody heard them, felt them, and healed with them.

In conclusion, lack of communication affected Sonny's life. When he wanted to be heard and understood, his brother ignored him. To get away, Sonny turned to drugs and found himself locked up in prison. The pain and suffering still lingered within him. Though he was not able to speak to others or were people willing to listen to him, Sonny found his outlet through playing jazz. Sonny's outcome could have been different if he was able to communicate with his brother and was given positive advice rather than being talked out of doing what he pleased. Regardless, by the end of the story, Sonny was content with life. Music was his passion. Music helps him heal.
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