The Troubled Brother in Sonny’s Blues, by James Baldwin

Satisfactory Essays
Sonny’s Blues is first-person narration by the elder brother of the musician struggling with heroin addiction and issues with law. However, on closer inspection it appears that Sonny’s unnamed brother is also very troubled. His difficulties cannot easily be perceived and recognized especially by the character himself. The story gives accounts of the problems Sonny’s brother has with taking responsibility, understanding and respecting his younger brother’s lifestyle. From the first lines of the story the reader gets the impression that Sonny’s brother tries to block out, ignore the truth about his brother and his troubles. The reaction the character has to the newspaper article about Sonny was: “It was not to be believed and I kept telling myself that” (Baldwin 292). At this stage his relations with the younger brother remind of the way a teacher walks across the playground full of potentially troubled kids “though he or she couldn’t wait to get out of that courtyard, to get those boys out of their sight and off their minds” (Baldwin 293). Having some suspicions concerning Sonny’s ...
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