How is music used in Sonny’s Blues?

Music transforms Sonny into a determined dreamer and ultimately leads to the accomplishment of his goals. Through his compassion of music, Sonny finds the confidence to overcome his obstacles and learns to succeed despite his socioeconomic status and previous mistakes.

What is the main point of Sonny’s Blues?

The central concern of “Sonny’s Blues” is suffering: Baldwin emphasizes that suffering is universal, and that it is also cyclical—that suffering tends to lead to more suffering.

Who is the speaker in Sonny’s Blues?

“Sonny’s Blues” is told in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed narrator who, we find out, is Sonny’s brother. The narrator in this story is an interesting figure. He’s mostly telling us Sonny’s story, and this would seem to make him a peripheral character instead of a central one.

How is music used in Sonny’s Blues? – Related Questions

Why does the narrator cry in Sonny’s blues?

But something else happens to the narrator, too. Sonny’s music makes him think of their parents, of the dead uncle he never knew he had, and of his little girl, Grace. He starts to cry. All of a sudden the music stops and “Creole and Sonny let out their breath, both soaking wet, and grinning” (239).

Why does the narrator have no name in Sonny’s blues?

The narrator, who is also Sonny’s brother, remains nameless because Baldwin wants to maintain the focus on Sonny’s life and his condition.

How would you characterize the narrator in Sonny’s Blues?

Unlike Sonny, the narrator has a difficult time expressing his ideas and emotions, and only when his young daughter dies does he open up and write to his brother. The narrator believes that he has been called upon to watch over Sonny, but this knowledge doesn’t lessen the burden he feels.

What is the relationship between Sonny and the narrator?

Sonny’s music touches his brother, the narrator, especially. Their relationship is reborn, just like Sonny is redeemed. With his blues, he saves himself, his relationship to his brother, and those who truly listen. From the very beginning of the story, Sonny and his brother have a troubled relationship.

Who are the three main characters in Sonny’s Blues?

James Baldwin
  • The Narrator.
  • Sonny.
  • Mother.

Where does the narrator go with Sonny?

They go to a club that night and the narrator sees Sonny in his element. He realizes that he’s just Sonny’s brother in the club – he’s not special when he’s in Sonny’s world. As he settles in to watch Sonny play, he finally sees what an amazing musician he is.

Does Sonny’s blues have a happy ending?

Baldwin ends the story with an optimistic symbol, a reference to a moment in the Book of Isaiah when God takes suffering from mankind. The narrator, who has finally learned to empathize with and care for his brother, has found relief from his own suffering through Sonny’s music.

Why does the narrator buy Sonny a drink?

But more importantly, he also seems to see that music is a part of Sonny. It’s something he has to have in his life in order to function. As a gesture of this new understanding, the narrator sends Sonny a drink, which he places above him on the piano as he plays.

Why was Sonny addicted to drugs?

Sonny uses drugs as a means of escaping from an environment that is depressive, stressful and full of suffering. Baldwin restrains from judging Sonny because of his addiction problems because he wants to bring out the destructive effects of drug abuse and the role that the brain plays in the abuse of drugs.

What was Sonny’s drug of choice?

Drugs And Addiction In Sonny’s Blues By James Baldwin

Sonny’s addiction to drugs has caused a lot of problems which not only affected his life, but also the life of his brother. In the start of the short story Sonny’s problem with his heroin addiction can already be seen take place.

How did Sonny suffer?

Sonny suffers on multiple levels. He suffers from his drug addiction and from being stuck in jail. But he also suffers from the knowledge that he’s hurt his family and that, because of this, he didn’t dare reach out to them even when he needed to the most.

What does Sonny struggle with?

Sonny, the central character in this story, struggles not only with a deadly addiction with substance abuse, but also an inner struggle self doubt not only due to a likely case of clinical depression, but his brother’s criticism over his career choice certainly doesn’t aid matters.

Who is the antagonist in Sonny’s Blues?

James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” uses Sonny as an antagonist character to the protagonist, his eldest brother. While Sonny and his eldest brother both are the center of the stories content, Baldwin uses Sonny to represent a challenge to the narrator of the story.

How did Sonny turn his life around?

But only through willpower and the support from his family is he able to turn his life around.

Who is the protagonist of Sonny’s Blues?

Sonny. The protagonist is the central character of the story, and although we hear the most from the narrator, Sonny is really at the heart of this narrative. Everything in the story revolves around him. He’s a kind of complicated protagonist, since we might not all agree that Sonny is hero.

What is the plot of Sonny’s Blues?

“Sonny’s Blues” is a 1957 short story written by James Baldwin, originally published in Partisan Review. The story contains the recollections of a black algebra teacher in 1950s Harlem as he reacts to his brother Sonny’s drug addiction, arrest, and recovery.

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