Sonny's Blues Analysis Essay

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Musically Interrupted In James Baldwin’s, “Sonny’s Blues,” Sonny is a man that was a blue’s musician and became addicted to drugs. He was then arrested for doing drugs. His brother, the narrator, does not understand why he did drugs in the first place. His brother feels guilty for not being there for Sonny. Music was the key to the communication between the brothers. In the beginning, the narrator reads the newspaper where it mentions about his brother going to jail for drugs. He starts to think about Sonny and compares him to his students at the school. “…Every one of them for all I knew, be popping off needles every time they went to the head. Maybe it did more for them than algebra could” (Baldwin, 79). During Sonny’s arrest,…show more content…
In order to go anywhere in life you had to suffer. “For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There is not any other tale to tell, it is the only light we have got in all this darkness” (Baldwin, 98). The Blues in the story tells a story of its own. It starts at the beginning of your life and it will end with your life. “Blues is an art in process and in that respect alien from any conception of fixed and ideal forms. This will not justify weaknesses in an artist’s work, but insofar as Baldwin identifies his writing with the art of the singers of Blues it suggests why he is devoted to representation of successive moments of expressive feeling and comparatively less concerned with achieving a consistent overall structure” (Reilly, 145). Once again music is the art of communication between the brothers. Once the narrator actually listens to Sonny play he finally understands Sonny’s pain and what is going on with him. “I seemed to hear with what burning he had made it his, with what burning we had yet to make it ours, how we could cease lamenting. Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen, that he will never be free until we did” (Baldwin,
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