Darkness In Sonny's Blues Essay

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In the story “Sonny's Blues” the author, James Baldwin, uses the symbols of darkness and music to help him illustrate the story. The story goes on to describes how two brothers finally come to understand each other after going through a lot of darkness in their lives. “Sonny’s Blues” is about the necessity of family, the differences between your dreams and reality, the power of music, and the importance of listening to one another. The narrator, Sonny’s older brother, uses the symbol of darkness to describe what happened to his younger brother Sonny. He remembers that when Sonny was younger his face was bright and open but that all of a sudden that changed. “I didn’t want to believe that I’d ever see my brother going down, coming to nothing,…show more content…
Sonny’s older brother is also an algebra teacher, and again uses darkness when referencing his students. “All they really knew were two darkness, the darkness of their lives, which was now closing in on them, and the darkness of the movies, which had blinded them to that other darkness, and in which they now vindictively dreamed, at once more together than they were at any time and more alone." He believes that there is little opportunity for these kids just like his brother. Here he feels that the students use the darkness of the movies to escape from the sorrows they face in their lives. Sonny, on the other hand doesn’t focus so much on his woes and sorrows, instead he channels his suffering into music. Sonny always used music as a way to escape. It is the only thing that gave him hope and kept him dreaming for a better life. His music was the light that inspired him and gave him hope for the future. At the end of the story when Sonny’s brother went to see Sonny at the club, he saw why Sonny loved his music so much. Sonny’s brother finally understood that it was through music that Sonny was able to turn his suffering into something that brought him happiness and lit up his face once
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