Another conflict that Baldwin expresses in “Sonny’s Blues” is imprisonment. The characters are either trapped physically and emotionally or even both… Throughout the story, Sonny is constantly struggling to break free. Sonny is physically imprisoned in jail as well as by his addiction to heroin. The narrator is confined to Harlem to be specific. In addition, they are both trapped within themselves, the narrator unable to express his emotions or live up to his obligations as a brother until his daughter’s death gives him the motivation that he needs to change and do so, while Sonny is unable to express himself without heroin and his music.
The story “Sonny’s Blues “is about two brothers that deal with racism. In dealing with their issues they both suffer and survive in their family and community. Their stories are a strong impact on their character and how they deal with their pain. Sonny chooses a more damaging means of racism, such as drug addiction to heroin; although, he does find a better choice music! The older brother, the narrator, James Baldwin, goes to college to become a teacher, and give back to his community in Harlem.
The narrator’s thoughts about Sonny triggered his anxiety that very day. It was difficult to bear the news of what his brother had become, yet at some point he could relate to Sonny on a personal level, “I hear my brother. And myself” (84). After the news had spurred, the narrator experienced extreme anxiety to the point of sweating. Jus... ... middle of paper ... ...n his brother’s life the theme in Sonny’s Blues would’ve have been altered.
The narrator realized that everyone has a sad story. When Sonny was trying to express how he felt on the inside and reveal his drug abuse, the narrator did not want to accept his younger brother's drug abuse and he 'kept putting them away. I told myself that Sonny was wild, but he wasn't crazy"(79). Just as Sonny felt alone and helpless, he could not talk about it to anyone.
During this time black people were forced to live in a world of prejudice, discrimination, poverty and suppression. The life of a black person was very difficult; many opportunities afforded to whites were not afforded to blacks. Sonny and his brother lived in the projects and had many obstacles to overcome that white people didn't have to. Sonny chose music to outwardly express his suffering, his brother chose to bottle it up and keep it inside, but this is the common thread they both shared. Suffering is also shown in the story when Baldwin says "it came to me that what we both were seeking through our separate cab windows was that part of ourselves which had been left behind" (P 47).
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.
He feels that he has escaped the darkness of Harlem, by getting a responsible job and having a family, now Sonny will have to find his own escape, other than drugs. Darkness isn’t the absence of light but the darkness of life in Harlem; the drug use, selling drugs, poverty of the community, and the prostitutes that were always seen on the corners. Sonny being in jail doesn’t hear from his brother in a long time until a devastating event happens in his brother’s life. His brother’s daughter died of polio and he remembered the promise he had made to his mother before she passed away, which was “you got to let him know you’s there” (Baldwin, 2... ... middle of paper ... ...e isn’t an easy thing to do. For one you don’t trust them to do the right thing you are always looking over their shoulder and questioning their every move.
He behaved kindly for selfish and prideful reasons; he behaved unkindly when he couldn’t control his emotions. This buildup of emotions eventually caused Doodle’s death at the end of the story. The narrator recognizes his guiltiness when running away from his brother, knowing that Doodle’s heart cannot bear the strain. However, at the time, he did so anyways – he couldn’t understand the consequences of his impetuous actions, and ultimately, kills Doodle. Throughout the Scarlet Ibis, the cruel interactions between the narrator and Doodle occur in the heat of the moment, a characteristic crack of pride and cruelty in a child, where Brother feels guilty for doing so, but cannot comprehend what could happen as a result of his actions.
Brothers tend to grow apart yet eventually find a way to revive an old beat up relationship. These brothers grew up on the rough streets of Harlem and went their separate ways. Sonny was a drug-addicted musician and his older brother was a high school algebra teacher with a family. The way the two brothers reunite through addiction, memories and strife make their bond seem stronger than ever. Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin, is a story about enlightenment through brotherhood when Sonny and his brother go to the club.
Coates’ implied message in the book is mainly about the struggle that black people suffer in America. The examples given to his son might be seen too explicit and helpless for his son. In the beginning of Between the World and Me, Coates’ witnessed his son crying over the injustice served in the Michael Brown’s case. Assuming that his son already has an idea of how difficult it is to be black in America, Coates decides to ineffectively consolidate his son by deeply explain him how unfair the world is going to be when the tone of your skin is darker than the rest. Coates writes in this letter to his son an event that shows the unfortunate case of a young black man killed by the police.