An Analysis Of Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

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Mayo 1 Angela Mayo Brian Linville English 103 September 13, 2011 Sonny’s Blues Sonny's Blues is a story about two brothers lives shown through extreme circumstances of growing up in the ghettos of Harlem, who struggle to understand each other. James Baldwin writes about the brothers ultimate goal to repair their relationship, that has been turned upside down ultimately because of their harsh surroundings. Over time, they begin to understand each other for who they are, rather than who they want each other to be. The overall theme of the story is not necessarily to be your “brothers keeper”, but to just be there for your brother. Not just in the physical regards or controlling ways, but mentally and emotionally available. The story starts out with the narrator, who remains nameless, finding out from the newspaper about a raid and the involvement of his brother, Sonny, for peddling and using heroin. The narrator states, “I couldn’t believe it: but what I mean by that is that I couldn't find any room for it anywhere inside me. I had kept it outside me for a long time.” We understand that the narrator has shut Sonny out in so many ways, partly because he's a drug addict, and partly because he doesn’t want the lifestyle that Sonny lives to interfere with…show more content…
As he entered the house following the conclusion of the meeting, Sonny tries to explain to his brother, and for once you see the narrator actual listen and understand his brothers struggles. He enlightens him, “ her voice reminded me for a minute of what heroin feels like sometimes-when its in your veins.” He continues to tell is brother that it makes people feel in control, “It’s not so much to play. It’s to stand it, to be able to make it at all.” We realize deeper that this is the narrators understanding his brothers addiction to the piano, is a way to fight his addiction to

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