Sonny 's Blues : A Big Issue Is The Idea Of Salvation Essay

Sonny 's Blues : A Big Issue Is The Idea Of Salvation Essay

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In Sonny’s Blues a big issue is the idea of Salvation. Sonny’s blues is a story about two brothers on opposite paths, with different worldviews. The characters in the story are from the same place, raised by the same people, and taught the same things, but they are different in the brain and heart, which makes their journey to salvation very different trips. Sonny is the younger of the brothers and he struggles with drugs, the ideas of suffering, and feeling trapped. The narrator on the other hand struggles with the death of his daughter, his relationship with his brother, and feeling trapped. James Baldwin wrote this short story during the 1950’s and it is still very relevant today, people are still looking for salvation and still trying to “get out” using drugs or other substances. Salvation is something everyone seeks at some point and this story follows the brothers through the dark and light spots to salvation.
In 1957 James Baldwin published Sonny’s Blues. The story starts when the narrator reads about his brother’s incarceration for getting caught with Heroin. The brothers hadn’t spoken in years and that didn’t change until narrator’s daughter dies. After the death of his daughter the narrator and Sonny write letters and when Sonny gets out of prison, he comes to live with his older brother, the narrator and the narrator’s wife, Isabel. The narrator lives in Harlem, where the men grew up and where both men did their best to escape from. On their way back to the narrator’s apartment the men looked out the window, seeing boys who remind them of their younger selves and the feelings of being young in Harlem. The neighborhood brings back memories about their childhood making both men think about the ways in which they are tra...


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...eat suffering. For the narrator the salvation came from his ability to understand his brother and understand what people must have had to experience to be where they are. The narrator starts to think of the people he has lost and how they must have suffered. He understands that this is Sonny’s salvation is the way the music lets him get out his suffering.
The story ends in the club. Both brothers are experiencing a small taste of what they are searching for. When the story ends the reader isn’t aware of what the outcome for the brothers is, but one can assume that they still struggled with their search for salvation. The reader can come up with their own variation of the ending but the thing that is true no matter what is that the men of Harlem are searching for salvation from Harlem, and Sonny and his brother are pretty close to finding it in their separate ways.

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