Sonny’s Blues-Baldwin Essay

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Suffering Evoked in Dark and Light Images Everybody, one day or another, will or has been subjected to suffering. It is suffering, the physical and emotional pain, that helps us to understand ourselves and define ourselves as human beings. Baldwin’s story, “Sonny’s Blues,” takes the readers on a journey with two brothers who lived together, but grew up and landed into two different worlds. Sonny, the narrator’s brother, is a man who dropped school, painted himself a corrupted life, and became a drug addict to chase his dream of being a musician. The narrator is a middle-class man who holds an emotional hazard towards his brotherhood with Sonny. According to Donald Murray, who is a professor of African American Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, both the narrator and Sonny are trying to endure the wounds of suffering, and together, their perceptions are rising up as individual human beings. The narrator is trying to look at the act of suffering through the experiences of the people around him, particularly Sonny (2). In our world, each individual is either depressed in the darkness of suffering or cuddles it to survive through the night. While others realize an inner light that will create equality with the outer darkness; their lives become a harmonious melody (2). Is there an end to suffering? This is the question that each one of the characters in the story, including the two brothers, is attempting to answer. Baldwin’s use of imagery of contrasting light and dark to show the universal suffering and its coping mechanism is one of the central themes in the story. Light, in “Sonny’s Blues,” embodies the facts of existence and realizations. The kids on the streets of Harlem are using drugs as a way to flee from the darkness of their lives, but they do not see that drugs are masquerading in light but really are dark (Murray 2). We first see light when the narrator is

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