One of Baldwin’s literature pieces was Sonny’s Blues in which he describes a specific event that had a great impact on his relationship with his brother, Sonny. Having to deal with the life-style of poverty, his relationship with his brother becomes affected and rivalry develops. Conclusively, brotherly love is the theme of the story. Despite the narrator’s and his brother’s differences, this theme is revealed throughout the characters’ thoughts, feelings, actions, and dialogue. Therefore, the change in the narrator throughout the text is significant in understanding the theme of the story.
You’re just hung up on the way some people try—it’s not your way!”(355) The narrator had dealt with his own miseries of knowing his father’s plight, his Brother Sonny’s imprisonment and the loss of his own child. Sonny tried to give an understanding of what music was for him throughout thei... ... middle of paper ... ... the miserable life that African Americans had to withstand at the time. From the narrator’s life in Harlem that he loathed, to the drug problems and apprehensions that Sonny was suffering from, to the death of his own daughter Grace, each of these instances serve to show the wretchedness that the narrator and his family had to undergo. The story in relation to Baldwin possibly leads to the conclusion that he was trying to relate this to his own life. At the time before he moved away, he had tried to make a success of his writing career but to no avail.
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.
Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin works with the narrator and its younger brother Sonny. The narrator presents life changing moments between both himself and Sonny, although both are related they are both two very distinct individuals. In the beginning of the passage, it started off describing their critical living conditions in Harlem and how people were trapped in the projects while others were able to escape. Although some people were able to escape these living conditions it seemed as though the desperation of trouble would always be with them. The narrator expresses his thoughts on the subject through a complex picture of rage, an express of violent uncontrollable anger reflecting to the audience both external and internal by change, escape, trap, and racism.
The Second World War caused people grief and suffering but I think that both brothers experienced more pain with their internal conflicts. And they were mere reflections of what was happening at every urban black American house hold. Sonny summed up what was happening in his life and in their society when he partly agreed with his brother when he said; "No, there's no way not to suffer.” (Baldwin in O’Daniel) The society where most of the blacks came from were more than harsh to say the least and people desperately wanted to escape. There were many aspects of urban Black American society that were mirrored with the experiences narrated in “Sonny’s Blues”. The examination of such parallels will give us insight to the pain experienced by these people and let us see how societies can shape an individual’s life (Baldwin in O’Daniel) "I ain't learning nothing in school… even when I go."
Siblings' Relationship in James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues Eminent psychologists have made convincing arguments for the effect birth order has on personality. In addition, laymen can cite innumerable examples of domineering, pragmatic, reliable older siblings contrasting with those fitting the "youngest stereotype" -- irresponsible, spoiled, and selfish. Such character traits often cause lifelong conflict between siblings. In his short story "Sonny's Blues," James Baldwin shows a profound example of such sibling friction. Baldwin paints a realistic portrait of an older brother, Richard (the narrator), always steady, predictable, and in control, and Sonny, a musician and recovering heroin addict who looks at the world through a different lens.
In two short stories written during the mid-twentieth century, “Sonny’s Blues,” by James Baldwin and “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” by Richard Wright, two African-American characters are faced with separate hardships that are similarly caused by sociocultural factors. Both characters’ problems are arduous to overcome and until they are, the characters are unable to achieve their ultimate desires. In James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” the main character, Sonny, faces many sociocultural factors, in particular the social environment that he was raised in. His social environment is one of the causes for his troubled life; a life in which he shoots heroine, as well as deals it. Sonny grew up in Harlem, a place the narrator, Sonny’s brother, characterizes as “disast[rous],” “danger[ous],” and “dark” (Baldwin, 41,42,43).
James Baldwin, while growing up also dealt with many family issues. He didn’t know his biological father and had trouble being accepted into society being a homosexual African American. The boy portrayed as Sonny in “Sonny’s Blues” very closely resembles the way Baldwin must have been treated growing up. They both were shunned from society, and both struggled with the way their families interacted with one another. Baldwin could have purposely done this to illustrate what his childhood was like and express it to the world through the story that he wrote.
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.