Essay on Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

Essay on Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

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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. The brothers cope with their own suffering and the suffering around them in two very different, but not uncommon ways.
The story is told through the eyes of Sonny's older brother, who's name we never disclose. What we do know is the narrators currently a algebra teacher, married with kids, and some of his history that gives us insight to the mans personality. As a young man he lost both parents, first his father the later his mother. After high school he went into the military. While in the service he had a rocky relation ship with his brother, Sonny. With the information presented to us through the story, it shows the narrator had a difficult child hood, but he rose above it and kept on the straight and narrow. He's got family, a career, and some stability which is much more than most have in the ghetto's of Harlem. The narrator serves us an image of himself as an orderly man with a ground perspective of things, he's a realist. Which separates him quite drastically from his brother Sonny.
Sonny, the brother, seems to be the main character of the story. It's told through his brother's point of view, bu...


... middle of paper ...


... down the path that led astray but he found his way through the woods. In the meantime, Sonny helped his straight shooting brother find a greater understanding of himself and those around him. When Sonny's sibling listened to the music and found the meaning it had it lead him to an appreciation for the jazz. That performance helped him understand Sonny better than ever, and he also got in touch with himself and his feelings humanizing him. With Baldwin's skills he tackled the subject of labels due to the color of skin and showed just how shallow they are and their untruth in relation to these particular individuals in the story of Sonny's Blues.
Works Citied

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." Literature, An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry,
and Drama. 1957. By X.J. Kennedy and Dana Giola. New York: Pearson Longman,
2005. 53-76. Rpt. in Point of View.

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