In James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues” there is a constant contrast between light and dark. Baldwin uses this theme to highlight the struggles that the Narrator and his younger brother, Sonny, both face. Light represents all of the positive aspects of life. Meanwhile, the darkness represents the constant struggle that threatens the characters in the story. Light and dark has a presence in both characters.
Sonny struggles in the beginning with his racism, he quits school, joins the service, gets mixed up with drugs, spends time in prison, and then finally he finds his outlet with music. He feels blues represent common black American ways in their suffering and the problems they have in the white society. Unlike Sonny though, James takes a quieter way to live in a racist world and that was his teaching. Music is what finally brings the brothers closer together, and helps them cope with racism during that period. Both brothers feel no matter what struggles we endure though life, always be true to yourself and follow your dreams.
Sonny's Blues isn't a story of two brothers living in a rough city; one of whom is a talented musician. The story is so much more, it's the point of tossing the main two stereotypes of African-Americans in an urban environment. The brothers cope with their own suffering and the suffering around them in two very different, but not uncommon ways. The story is told through the eyes of Sonny's older brother, who's name we never disclose. What we do know is the narrators currently a algebra teacher, married with kids, and some of his history that gives us insight to the mans personality.
Sonny, on the other hand, was the bad that was not very ambitious through hard work but through his music. The themes in “Sonny’s Blues”, shows a constant struggle between brotherly love and the imagery of how the narrator shows the light and dark of their lives. The mother gives the narrator the obligation to look after his brother no matter what. The light and dark within the story elaborates with imagery and flash back events that gave light and darkness into their lives that were separate but both had problems.
Jus... ... middle of paper ... ...n his brother’s life the theme in Sonny’s Blues would’ve have been altered. Overall, what was vital to the narrator, in this time of turmoil and frustration, was to nurture the relationship with his brother Sonny, not only because of the love he had for him but also for the obligation he had as a brother and the commitment he had toward his mother. In conclusion, Sonny’s Blues depicts the love of a brother through the narrator, who at the beginning was disengaged, unsupportive, and emotionally distant. However, the turning point was when Grace died. This triggered a great turmoil of feelings that overflowed the narrator leading him to a major and impacting change.
By having no defined identity, the brother stands in as the representative of the black community. The narrator is a responsible family man. His job as a high school math teacher illustrates his interest in helping others through education. His decision to marry suggests that he is respons... ... middle of paper ... ...ny does suffer isolation, persecution and imprisonment. However, he finds redemption in the eyes of his brother without sacrificing his individualism.
Life comes with many struggles and gives strength to those who face them. James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” is about the struggles and hardships that every day people face. This story is about an aspiring musician, Sonny, Baldwin’s main character, whose life is portrayed through the eyes of his older brother. Because of Sonny’s lifestyle, his brother has lost touch with him for many years, but after a terrible tragedy the narrator reaches out to Sonny and tries to mend their relationship. Sonny is a recovering drug addict and as the story goes on, it seems as if Sonny has changed, but in reality he did not change, his brother just comes to realization that he cannot change him, but only accept and respect the man that he is and the man that he’s striving to be.
The author of Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin, makes references to light and darkness numerous times throughout the narrative. In theory, the two brothers serve as indirect symbols towards the light and the darkness that Baldwin is constantly alluding to. Throughout the story, Sonny and his older brother found it difficult to cooperate with one another on the same terms. Sonny’s life was comprised of the motions of staying alive and living according to the way he chose on a daily base, while his brother’s was the complete opposite. Sonny’s older brother was a prioritized, married young man, who had a plan for every situation.
Sonny, the title character of James Baldwin’s short story, “Sonny’s Blues,” is about a young man whom is struggling in life. As a young African American born in Harlem, the burden of being poor, black, and trapped within the confines of his community, he is aware of the limits and obstacles he faces. Baldwin uses the part where Sonny moved away from Harlem, his afterlife from prison, and his love for music to show us that he symbolizes the search for identity significance. After the death of his mother, his only older brother left to the army, and he was forced to live with his brother’s girlfriend, Isabel, their family. Before leaving to the army, his brother asked him what he wanted to do for his future and without any hesitation or thinking, Sonny answered, “I want to be a musician,” (105).
In Sonny’s Blues a big issue is the idea of Salvation. Sonny’s blues is a story about two brothers on opposite paths, with different worldviews. The characters in the story are from the same place, raised by the same people, and taught the same things, but they are different in the brain and heart, which makes their journey to salvation very different trips. Sonny is the younger of the brothers and he struggles with drugs, the ideas of suffering, and feeling trapped. The narrator on the other hand struggles with the death of his daughter, his relationship with his brother, and feeling trapped.