Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin Essay.
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Analyze and research Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin.
Here’s a snippet of the essay.
James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues is a narrative of two brothers who lived in Harlem in the late 1950’s, surrounded by a community filled with violence, drugs, poverty, and racism. The story describes how these two brothers react to the blues and how they handle their own innate turmoil. The story tells of the suffering the two shared, some of the ideals that separate them, and the music that brings them together finally. Sonny seems to be lost in the world of drugs and music which he uses as a coping mechanism escape from the turmoil the life in Harlem brings. The author explains how each of the brothers copes with the “darkness” that surrounds the environments they live in.
Why is the narrator’s face trapped in the darkness which roared outside?
The narrator seems to be “trapped in the darkness that roared outside.” The story opens with this metaphorical phrase whose reference is significant because it comes as a contrast to the dismal society that Sonny and the narrator live in. To the narrator, the darkness portrays the social, economic, and physical barriers in the community around Harlem where both the narrator and Sonny are trapped. The narrator is trapped in this darkness because these barriers have overcome the occupants of the communities in Harlem. To the students, the darkness signifies the life of crime, drug, and poverty that distracts them from normal learning. Of course, the narrator notes that the cruel situations in Harlem have snatched the possible light from his brother Sonny, and he is making a connection between his algebra students and his brother, thus being “trapped in the darkness.” To the reader, the metaphor of the darkness might be used to reflect the contrasting lifestyles in the African American culture, and the impact each has on the personage. Baldwin has severally repeated the image of trap as a motif which represents the troubles in the lives of the people living outside the confinements of the subway.