The Hidden Themes Of Racism In Sonny's Blues

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“The world ain’t changed”, the end of a sentence muttered by the narrator’s mother in “Sonny’s Blues” is something very vague but very important to an underlying theme of the story that some people may not have caught on to while reading it the first time. The hidden theme, so to speak, is racism. While it is not there in your face, if you read between the lines, there are plenty of examples in the story that point to how racism was still very rampant during the time in which the story takes place (which we assume to be around 1960-1970). One of the first examples of the underlying racism in the story is as simple as just rereading and processing what some of the characters are saying and looking at it in a deeper sense. For instance, the narrator’s mother is telling the narrator about how his uncle was run down by a group of white men in a car and killed. After she tells this story she tells her son to watch over his own brother because, “The world ain’t changed.” Now, this could mean that she just wants the eldest brother to keep an eye on his younger sibling because she is sick and doesn’t want Sonny to get hurt or to…show more content…
The narrator never quite seems to come out and say that he experienced any type of racism in his life and the only real racism that we know of in the story is when the mother of the two boys tells her story about the way their uncle died. The story of the uncle being killed could even be misinterpreted by the reader as an accident on all accounts by some white men who maybe were just too tipsy, but the narrator’s mother states, “Till the day he died he weren’t sure but that every white man he saw was the man that killed his brother”. This line in itself seems pretty significant in trying to explain that the killing of the father’s brother was an act of racism, because if it had not been the father would not have been so weary of white

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