Sonny's Blues Analysis: Harlem Renaissance

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Eugene Cooper English 1020 29 January 2015 Sonny’s Blues Analysis The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920s through which African-American musicians embraced black heritage and culture in American life. The author was concerned about his older brother being caught in the drug addiction of heroin and crack that had made the front cover of the daily newspaper. After receiving countless letters from his brother in prison, one day he is released from prison and comes to dinner at his house. A memory from their childhood days in Harlem starts to take a toll on this unnamed character. Flashbacks of his mother saying, “Watch over your brother”, and “Protect your brother”. Sonny later goes back to New York for the death of his mother, and asks his brother what does he think he should do with his life. He responses “you should play the piano” because of his love for jazz music. Playing Jazz music was a big risk in the 1950’s, and not to any people wanted to risk…show more content…
Sonny Blues is told in first person from Sonny’s brother in whom his name wasn’t said throughout the story, and in English class we would the brother would be a peripheral character since he is rarely spoken upon. Two brothers are facing hard times with each other against the world an because of their mothers death has no one else to turn to but each other. The main character is Sonny, he is a risk taker and is also considers one point in the story of taking his own life. The story takes place in Harlem, New York close to the civil rights movement in the mid 1950’s. This setting plays a huge role in the story, due as a result of Sonny choosing to start dealing with drugs to escape the feeling of being locked in by his environment. In the surroundings there are prostitutes, people re suffering from poverty and struggle, and people taking risky chances to make

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