reveals some solid support for the basic themes, as well as some possible important thematic and structural flaws that might cause some readers to question whether Baldwin really understood the nature of the jazz/blues motif that he used. On the other hand, he may have intentionally injected irony that implies an interpretation emphasizing a coming together in harmony of all people--not just Sonny's brother and his people and culture. The blues, both as a state of being and as music, are basic to the structure of the story. Albert Murray says, "The blues as such are synonymous with low spirits," and both the narrator and his brother Sonny have had their share. The narrator's major source of discontent has been his selfish desire to assimilate and lead a "respectable," safe life as a high-school algebra teacher.
The Reawakening of the Soul People express their inner-self through several mediums, from writing, to painting, to playing music. Langston Hughes, influenced by the struggles presented in the Harlem Renaissance, expressed his inner-self though his poetry. Langston Hughes emphasizes how music replenishes the soul through emotional connections by the use of form and language in his poems “The Weary Blues”, “Jazzonia, and “Danse Africaine”. Langston Hughes, in “The Weary Blues”, expresses that the working class communicates their societal and personal problems through music, similar to the songs “played on Seventh Street”, as described by Langston Hughes himself (“Songs on Seventh Street”). The speaker’s repetition and personification of the “[piano's] moan” portrays the transfer of struggle from the speakers heavy soul to the instrument which reveals the ordeals that have troubled the musician and have caused him to display his emotional distress through his music.
From its simple and primitive origins, not only has the Blues affected culture throughout the Deep South, but Southern culture has had a strong influence on the creation of the Blues and its musicians. The Blues’ unique sound came from the slave songs, such as the work songs and field hollers of the enslaved African Americans (PBS). Nearly every song on the radio today has its roots in the Delta Blues. Although the Blues is definitely from the Mississippi Delta, the date and exact location of the place of origin will forever remain unknown. However, Dockery Farms claims to be the place where the Blues began.
February 25, 2014 Sonny’s Blues The short story “Sonny’s Blues” by writer James Baldwin has a very direct link to a poem by Langston Hughes entitled “The Weary Blues”. The two stories feature a negro man expressing emotions, that would otherwise to be hard to verbally express, through the “Blues”. The Blues are a musical genre and form of music that was originated in Southern United States in the 19th century by African Americans. Through the Blues both men sang to their audience from their soul what their mouths couldn’t say in conversation. This genre of music became very popular in local bars.
I believe Reed added this to make the reader and people see that colour was a big deal. He is masking his identity with another in an effort to reflect the majority. It further emphasizes the lines, “My face doesn’t belong to me anymore.” (Reed, The C Above High C, Act I, Scene I, 1) Further in the scene he mentions that he is being called an Uncle Tom, a term coined by African Americans to describe fellow African Americans who have “sold out” or cater to the white man. He is conflicted, he plays music that is close to his heart and is “African”. But because he is praised by whites and loved by them his fellow people felt and accused him of selling out.
Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal" is more than a short story about the hardships faced by an individual African-American male. Ellison utilizes the events experienced by his naive narrator in "Battle Royal" as symbols to depict the struggles and humility of African-Americans attempting to progress and to achieve success, and the satisfaction derived by white society in controlling and intimidating the black community. The foremost symbol in the story is the battle royal itself along with the blindfold, and the electric rug. The battle royal symbolizes the difficult struggle for equality for the black culture. By participating in the battle royal, the narrator learns that life is a struggle for survival; however, at this point he still believes in the philosophy that blacks can achieve success through education and hard work.
Racism was still powerful, which created a different style of song with different meanings behind each one. The hidden messages behind the music began to focus on the frustrations of the current society involving segregation, racism, and the hardships that African Americans still had to endure. In the majority of songs, the lyrics and sounds were tried to be linked to god as well. Religion and the power of God were very influential on the music during that period in time. Songs like, “Soon I Will Be Done”, also gave off the idea of depression and how some people were looking forward to leaving earth to be with God.
In the Cornel West article "Nihilism in Black America" he argues that the dilemma of African Americans is nihilism. This is somewhat parallel to W.E.B Dubois's Talented Tenth speech in 1903. Nihilism, according to West, is the lived experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and lovelessness. African Americans are threatened by the lack of hope and the “absence of meaning” in their lives. Dubois's philosophy not only shows nihilism in the black race during this era but it also shows the same lack of progression in the black community in 2011.
Yet, while both Malcolm X and James Brown wanted Black unity, Black pride, and both had a great following, they both had different ideas of how to make the aspiration of true Black unity a reality. Malcolm X approached the situation of White oppression with an absolute Black radical perspective and followed a total separatist agenda. While the civil rights movement fought against racial segregation, Malcolm advocated the complete division of African Americans from white people and claimed that Blacks could take care of themselves if only they were given the opportunity to do so. Malcolm X also staunchly opposed the civil rights movement's strategy of nonviolence as a means of advocating for better treatment. Malcolm did not believe that nonviolent protest or peace marches were not the way to get White America’s attention about the plight of Black America.
This can be seen in the poem ‘Music’ where in particular, Owen’s use of pathetic fallacy reveals to us the narrators true feelings. Therefore we are able to see that one’s emotional state of mind is projected onto his perception of his surroundings rendering music, which is an entirely subjective and state-dependent phenomenon. Accordingly, we can see this through the metaphor, “Drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake”, that alcohol is like music as it is also very state-dependent. The assonance of long and soft sounds in “mellow sorrows” may be suggesting that these soothe his pain, however could also prolong his pain as well. Owen conveys the idea that by using music and alcohol to relieve your pain is an outdated method, which we can see through the archaic diction “slake”.