After reading Baldwin's Sonny's Blues, I couldn't stop thinking about how it had affected me even though I had not gone through a similar experience myself. I just kept wondering what Baldwin had meant his story to be about. Had he wanted to talk about drug use? About the effects of drug addiction on a family?. I would dare say that his main interest laid in showing the complexity of human relationships.
Sonny's Blues is a story about suffering and pain and about how different people experience these emotions and manage to overcome them.
Both the narrator and his brother Sonny are real human beings trying to endure the hardships of life and, as a consequence, trying to grow up.
Sonny is a musician and an artist who has lived most of his life surrounded by pain and he uses his music as a way to communicate with the outside world.
He eventually fails in this attempt and turns to heroin. Sonny sees that his efforts to grow up, to do something good with his life are not appreciated or understood. What is more, he sees how all the people around him suspect that it is because of his music that he becomes addicted to drugs.
While he is staying at Isabel's family home, he is already depicted as an addict and someone who has lost his mind. "It was as though Sonny were some sort of god, or monster".But, do we have hard evidence to suggest that he is already using drugs at this time of his life? Why then does Sonny tell his brother later in the story that he had left Harlem in an attempt to avoid drugs? "Look, brother. I don't want to stay in Harlem no more. I really don't".
I believe that music...