Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

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Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

A captivating tale of a relationship between two troubling brothers in Harlem, "Sonny's Blues" is told from the perception of Sonny's brother, whose name is never mentioned. Baldwin's choice of Sonny's brother as a narrator is what makes "Sonny's Blues" significant in terms of illustrating the relationship and emotional complications of Sonny and his brother. The significance of "Sonny's Blues" lies in the way Sonny's brother describes their relationship based on what he observes, hears, and feels, and how he struggles trying to understand Sonny through the course of the story. This is a story of how two African Americans brothers take their own path through life as they struggle to find meaning in their lives.

Sonny's brother point of view is shared in this story as he feels responsible to keep his brother safe. The brother learns to listen throughout this story to better understand Sonny's life. This story is primarily about Sonny's brothers' life, how he struggled in his life and how he is now watching his younger brother Sonny go through the same situation. He worries about Sonny's life; that Sonny might not be able to escape the turmoil that life brings especially being a musician with no ties to family and job security. Sonny's brother sees Sonny trying to become a jazz musician, he watches and listens as Sonny goes through many difficulties in life. He doesn't want Sonny to be a jazz musician, because there is no future in this. At the end of the story, Sonny's brother attends the nightclub to watch...

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...Blues" illustrated how life was growing up in an African American family during 1930 – 1960's. Black Americans struggled to make their imprint on society. The life of the amazing blind musician Ray Charles comes to my mind as I struggle to understand how the African American culture learned to survive during this time. Sonny and Ray Charles had many of the same life experiences, in particular relying on drugs to forget their past and living in a society where the black man struggled to make a living. Both men used their music of rhythm and blues to gain respect from family and friends. In particular they learned to use music to survive in times of racism, segregation and poverty.
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