Sonny's blues - Essay Example

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Zaid Alsubaie ENG-102 Wesley Rothman Nov/7/2013 Sonny’s blues The story takes place in Harlem which is depicted as a place full of despair and depression. The narrator is deeply concerned about Sonny who has recently come out of jail. The streets of the city and the people of the area are presented by the author as acquaintances; both for Sonny and the narrator, as the author says 'And I'd known this avenue all my life' (Baldwin, 25)…
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Sonnys blues
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Download file to see previous pages People of the club are generally referred to as being friendly with Sonny; serving to depict the contrast that exists between the inner and the outside world. At the same time, the author takes on a defensive tone when he tries to justify Sonny's drug addiction; "In order to keep from shaking to pieces" (Baldwin, 40). However, the author holds his sympathy in one hand and his honesty in the other; he criticizes the addiction of drugs in bitter words, blaming it to be the cause of pain and misery for Sonny. Baldwin's creation of characters is interesting in the sense that almost all characters have markedly contrasting personalities. Moreover, the characters are not merely characters; they are in fact representations of the classes of our society. Sonny, for example represents the drug affected population of the society. The prominent features associated with this character include the aspects of poverty, being black, various limitations imposed by the society, willingness to escape from his prevailing circumstances, suffering imprisonment and being a prisoner even after being released from the jail which is depicted by words like "caged animal". The narrator of the story is the elder brother of Sony, depicted as a successful person in that he is a Mathematics teacher and is raising his own family. He had been pessimistic about Sony in the beginning but his immense love and association with him makes him help Sony out of the situation. Although Isabel, the narrator is not a much prominent character in the story but she plays a significant role in taking Sony out of his indulgence in misery and shock as he gets released from prison. She plays a role which is almost the same as the narrator's mother. The narrator's daughter Grace, though appears in the story for a little while, as she dies very young, leaves a mark on the writer and makes him reach to Sony and help him out of his troubled times. Likewise, the character of mother not only represents the mothers as an institution but also serves the purpose of explaining the role of all those in the society who actively engage in helping others. Baldwin associates a number of roles that he expects a mother to play; prophetic, saint-like and protector of the family. The writer has used a number of symbols to assist his understanding and to convey a clearer message to the reader. His use of jazz music appears to be associated with negative aspects of life like addiction and drugs. Later in the story, this symbol takes on an entirely new form and serves to establish a connection between the brothers. Music is depicted not only in this story but in real life as well, as a form of art that is used as a means of giving way to one's thoughts and at times frustration. At one point in the story, where the narrator is feeling perplexed by listening to music being played by Sony's blues group. For Sony, music gives vent to the sadness that resides deep within him creating a sadder version of blue music that touches his listeners as well. Another imagery that the writer uses often is ice. This is used to convey negative feelings and emotions that arise in response to unfavorable conditions. The discomfort felt during such circumstances is especially troublesome for the author, which is expressed by the author in words like "it was a special kind ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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