"Sonny's blues" by james baldwin.

Essay by m0mmyCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

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It is a story of two brothers with different perspectives on life. At the beginning, Sonny was caught with heroin and went to jail. Throughout the story, the flashbacks gave the reader insights to why Sonny and his brother behaved like they did. So many emotions enveloped this small story. Fears, hopes, and ambitions haunted this Harlem family until they both embrace reality.In the beginning i only thought of Sonny as a troubled child, someone who grew up in an unfortunate neighborhood, but as i kept reading i started to realize that the story "Sonny's Blues" was about a young man who felt that he wasn't being understood from the people who were the most important to him. In his love of music he found acceptence and thats where his heart truly was. it is a story that is about how memories and past events can shape a persons future.

The reference of the blues in the title reflects the memories the narrator has about Sonny. The memories are of unfortunate events that had occurred in Sonny's childhood. Some may think that the blues alludes to the music that Sonny plays in nightclubs on his piano but I would argue that the music he plays (which is jazz) is an escape from the reality of his life. The jazz music he plays can be compared the heroin the he takes, they both act as a "conduit" for a temporary escape from his life. However, even though the story has a very depressing tone, the story ends with the hope of the two brothers working their differences out. This possible reconciliation is alluded to by imagery. The scotch and milk beverage that sat on the top of Sonny's piano, just at the edge where the light diminished from...