Missing Works Cited
Several passages found throughout "Sonny's Blues" indicate that as a whole, the neighborhood of Harlem is in the turmoil of a battle between good and evil. The narrator describes Sonny's close encounters with the evil manifested in drugs and crime, as well as his assertive attempts at distancing himself from the darker side. The streets and communities of Harlem are described as being a harsh environment which claims the lives of many who have struggled against the constant enticement of emotional escape through drugs, and financial escape through crime. Sonny's parents, just like the others in Harlem, have attempted to distance their children from the dark sides of their community, but inevitably, they are all aware that one day each child will face a decisionb for the first time. Each child will eventually join the ranks of all the other members of society fighting a war against evil at the personal level so cleanly brought to life by James Baldwin. Amongst all the chaos, the reader is introduced to Sonny's special secret weapon against the pressures of life: Jazz. Baldwin presents jazz as being a two-edged sword capable of expressing emotions like no other method, but also a presenting grave danger to each individual who bears it. Throughout the the story, the reader follows Sonny's past and present skirmishes with evil, his triumphs, and his defeats. By using metaphorical factors such as drugs and jazz in a war-symbolizing setting, Baldwin has put the focus of good and evil to work at the heart of "Sonny's Blues."
At several points in the story, Baldwin emphasizes the quickness at which Harlem residents fall to the pull of evil. The children of Harlem are de...
... middle of paper ...
...open, Creole wishes him Godspeed and allows Sonny to musically weave the tale of his past: "Sonny's fingers filled the air with life, his life" (94). This high plateau of expression is the untainted counterpart to the effects of heroin. This is the major turning point in the story: the point at which Sonny triumphs over the dark side and finally finds a firm grip among the freedom-fighting soldiers of Harlem.
All three of these symbolical details are woven together in "Sonny's Blues" to create a non-literal meaning directly beneath the words. The end result is an enriched message about urban struggles for expression, happiness, and chemical independance. Ultimately, Sonny's revival concludes the readers' literary tour of world in which he lives. What is begun with a presentation of hardships is finally concluded with Sonny's triumph, a chance at a better future.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- While reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin theme, symbolism, and motifs were discovered throughout the entire short story. Sonny one of the two main characters, is dealing with a drug addiction and is now following his dreams of becoming a jazz musician. The narrator, whose name was never given, does his best to keep the promise he made his mother years ago, to be his brother’s keeper. James Baldwin, an African American author, grew up in Harlem, New York. Baldwin had no one to share his love for literature with.... [tags: literary analysis]
1547 words (4.4 pages)
- Shannon Owens 9/10/15 English 1 Sonny’s Blues James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues” illustrates the inner struggle of breaking the hold of lifestyles unfamiliar to those normally accepted by society. Through the use of common fictitious tools such as plot, characters, conflict, and symbolic irony, Baldwin is able to explore the complex difficulties that challenge one in the acceptance of differences in one another. This essay will attempt to understand these thematic concepts through the use of such devises essential in fiction, as well as to come to an understanding of how the particular elements of fiction assist the author in exploring the conflict.... [tags: Fiction, Narrative, Jazz, Narratology]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- In most short stories the entire plot progress within one area. The local and global settings do not change, but “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin is a little different. “Sonny’s Blues” follows an unnamed protagonist trying to reconnect with his younger brother Sonny, who struggles with heroin addiction. In the story, the Global setting of Harlem stays the same while the local varies from scene to scene. These changes in setting aren’t accidental. This was a conscious decision by Baldwin and it is the job of the reader to understand why the changes in the setting matter.... [tags: English-language films, American films, Fiction]
734 words (2.1 pages)
- We are all part of a society where justice and respect must be followed if we want to have a nice image of ourselves and be accepted by others. In the short story, Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin, two brothers are struggling to accept each other. Until the brother listened to Sonny and accepted what he wanted to do in life and who he was as an individual, the brother was in the darkness with his brother and himself. Through flashbacks and the characters, we were able to see how their life was before their mother and father died and what actually forced Sonny to take drugs.... [tags: Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin]
481 words (1.4 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]
1217 words (3.5 pages)
- Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin "Sonny's Blues" is a story about two brothers, their past, and how their differences came between them. They were apart for several years while Sonny was in jail, but once he got out they had a chance to mend their pasts. "Sonny's Blues" is a well written story that teaches a lesson that has value in every day life. The tone is melancholy and reminiscent. The brother is remembering the past and reflection on the mistakes he and Sonny made. He is sad over their fallout, Sonny's trouble with drugs, and the death of his daughter.... [tags: Sonny's Blues James Baldwin]
501 words (1.4 pages)
- There are many things we learn of Sonny and his nameless brother in Sonny's Blues. We learn their mannerisms, hobbies, occupations, and even their addictions. It seems we learn nearly everything about the pair; minus the narrators name, as previously stated. Hearing of their histories and the pains they've under gone, we see how they deal with their pain, which often truly tells character. Sonny's Blues isn't a story of two brothers living in a rough city; one of whom is a talented musician. The story is so much more, it's the point of tossing the main two stereotypes of African-Americans in an urban environment.... [tags: James Baldwin Sonny's Blues]
1007 words (2.9 pages)
- When first reading “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, it may initially seem that the relationship between musicians and drugs is synonymous. Public opinion suggests that musicians and drugs go hand and hand. The possibility lies that Sonny’s passion for jazz music is the underlying reason for his drug use, or even the world of jazz music itself brought drugs into Sonny’s life. The last statement is what the narrator believes to be true. However, by delving deeper and examining the theme of music in the story, it is nothing but beneficial for Sonny and the other figures involved.... [tags: Sonny’s Blues, James Baldwin, drugs, music,]
826 words (2.4 pages)
- James Baldwin's Story Sonny's Blues James Baldwin?s story ?Sonny?s Blues. is a deep and reflexive composition. Baldwin uses the life of two brothers to establish parallelism of personal struggle with society, and at the same time implies a psychological process of one brother leaving his socially ingrained prejudices to understand and accept the other's flaws. The story is narrated by Sonny?s older brother whom remained unnamed the entire story. Sonny's brother is a pragmatic person, a teacher, husband, and father.... [tags: James Baldwin Sonny's Blues Essays]
1265 words (3.6 pages)
- Analysis of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin In the story of “Sonny’s Blues,” by Baldwin, the beginning of the story finds Sonny’s brother on his way to work reading about Sonny’s predicament. Sonny got arrested for “peddling and using heroin.” He didn’t want to believe that his brother was in trouble. While teaching his algebra class he was thinking about the past. He remembered when he first suspected his Sonny of using Heroin. He was always under the impression that Sonny was, “wild, but he wasn’t crazy.... [tags: Sonny Blues James Baldwin]
475 words (1.4 pages)