Sonny's Blues

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 15 times

The Power Of Music Red Auerbach once said, "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."� In the story "Sonny's Blues"�, by James Baldwin, music plays an integral part in the story. Baldwin shows how Sonny uses music to cleanse his soul. Sonny also uses it as a way to escape the harsh world, in which he grows up. Baldwin portrays how Sonny uses music to overcome his own personal struggles.

Growing up in Harlem, Sonny faces: crime, poverty, and many other atrocious things. He realizes that he has to find a way to deal with his surroundings. His brother, first uses school, then the military, and finally teaching to deal with his problems. Sonny tries the navy, but it only proves to be a temporary fix for him. There he also sees people using drugs to escape their reality. He follows them down this avenue, but this drug use leads him into suffering.

Sonny finally comes to the conclusion that music is what he needs in his life. This decision causes him a great deal of pain. When Sonny's brother asks him what his aspirations are, he replies that he wants to become a jazz musician. He wants to be like the people his dad used to call the "good-time people."� Sonny sees jazz musicians as being content people. He believes that he can use music to improve his life. Sonny's brother doesn't accept this saying, "you know people can't always do exactly what they want to do"""�(94). Sonny replies, "No I don't know that. I think people ought to do what they want to do, what else are they alive for?"�( 94). This last sentence shows that Sonny wants to become a musician, that there is nothing else in life. The decision...