James Marinez ENG 121 September 29, 2013 Prof. Paul Sonny’s Blues, a short story written by James Baldwin, is about the emotional hardships that two brothers are urged to come to an agreement with. Setting during post World War II in Harlem, New York, the narrator is first seen as a character who has many battles to face within himself and the outside world, mainly his brother, Sonny, and his drug addiction. Upon learning his brother’s troubles with the government, the narrator is forced to deal with their lifestyle differences, put aside their hostility for each other, and learn to take care of his younger sibling. Although the two brothers are constantly fighting in the beginning of the short story, it is clearly seen that towards the end both become at peace with one’s inner self
In “Sonny’s Blues” James Baldwin uses imagery and the theme of music to help strengthen the relationship between the narrator and his younger brother, Sonny. Throughout the story there is a continual struggle for the two brothers to understand each other. The narrator, who is the older brother, is an algebra teacher. He thinks that musicians and bar workers are the bottom of the barrel. The younger brother is Sonny, who at the beginning of the story is arrested for heroin and is also a jazz pianist.
The author writes this story about the two brothers that grow up together into two different ways of other. The two completely different lives of two brothers contribute to the story as being safe and taking risk. The narrator is the older brother who grows up into a good future. He lives in a good house and has a stable job as being a math teacher. Also, the older brother is one of the respectable family men who always put his family as one of the top priority of his life.
Whereas Sonny had an addictive personality, his brother had his own internal struggles with understanding. When the brother learns of Sonny getting arrested for heroin, he immediately reflected on how life was when he was a boy which was very similar for the boys he taught in his algebra class, “Children growing up with a
Yes. Li-Young Lee’s poems are full of imagery. He uses every single word to help get a clear picture of exactly what’s going on. For example, to describe his father’s voice he says, “but hear his voice still, a well of dark water, a prayer”. He describes his father’s hands, “And I recall his hands, two measures of tenderness he laid against my face…”.
Eng 11-7 September 21, 2010 “Cinder Fella’s Search for Purpose” Once upon a time at one of the most well-known high schools, Spain Park High School, class was about to let out as a boy named Cinder Fella turns on his CD player. He plays the song “Till’ I Collapse” by Eminem as the rap genre of music relates to his life. Cinder Fella has always felt somewhat alone, at three months old his biological mother abandoned him, leaving him alone and neglected. Fella was soon taken by the government put into the hands of a close relative named Father Fella and his wife who died when Fella was only 7. Father Fella remarried two years later to a girl named Opera Whopera.
He feels very safe with his father but at the same time he questions some of his decisions. Although his father is made out to be the hero and decision maker, the boy influences his father at certain points in the novel. For example, the boy shows influence when they met a blind man walking down the road. The father's initial reaction is to leave the man alone, but after the boy's influence, they talk to him and give him food. This input from the boy helps build the father and son's relationship that the whole novel is based on.
Essay 1 Sonny’s Blues setting contributes to the story’s main theme by the idea behind of the love of two brothers extends beyond the relationship between both brothers but also the community as a whole. Harlem is affected greatly by drugs, poverty, and frustration, but members of the community come together to watch over and protect one another to fall into a dangerous pit. In the story the adults spend their Saturday afternoons sharing stories, providing a sense of warmth and protection to the children around them. The narrator, although initially angered by one of Sonny’s old friends, in the end recognizes his connection to the man by showing how he reminds him of Sonny and offers him money. Even Sonny, for all his problems he has with drugs, helps the people around him endure and survive by channeling their frustrated desires into his music The drugs on the streets of Harlem have affected both the narrator and Sonny very deeply.
The Powers of Music: “Sonny’s Blues” In the short story, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin the author depicts how a child growing up in a bad neighborhood, the loss of parents, and drug addiction to heroin can cause many harsh realities in one’s life. The main characters include the narrator, which is the unnamed older brother of Sonny, and Sonny whom has been in and out of trouble while battling addiction to heroin. However, in “Sonny’s Blues” the narrator demonstrates that music can be used as an effective way to cope with suffering. After the death of their mother the narrator is left responsible for his younger brother, Sonny; however, the only problem is that Sonny’s brother is currently enlisted in the Army thousands of miles away.
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).