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Paper Topic:

Critical thinking about story `Sonnys Blues.

Sonny 's Blues

James Baldwin 's Sonny 's Blues ' describe the middle of the 20th century . The author refers to the period prior to the Civil Rights Movement - in particular , to the dark days of segregation and racial discrimination . I think the author chose those times because he grew in Harlem and wanted to make people aware of that life . Sonny , as well as the narrator , grew up in poor neighborhood of Harlem . Sonny was the son of working class father whose optimism was put down by the death of his brother

at the hands of the rural Southern whites . The story shows ensuing struggle of the family in the racist Northern community

The narrator is the teacher of Algebra and Sonny is a child disappointed in life and , therefore , addicted to drug use . The narrator suspects that his students are popping off needles every time they went to the head and maybe it did more for them than algebra could . Apparently , the author refers to drug abuse as the way to escape from the burden of reality , from racial discrimination and oppression . The story is very dramatic and we see that characters are changing with story 's progression . Character changes are subtle because the plot features a character 's battle with heroin addiction . It is necessary to outline that this story teaches readers to understand people 's bad experiences and suffering . Nevertheless , the story is not simply - it depicts complex inner world of a boy who struggle with drug addiction . Music remains the only source to express pain

Sonny 's Blues ' seems to be a tragedy about human suffering which is transformed in communal art and blues music . For Sonny , blues music is catalyst for changes . Music helps the narrator to understand himself and complex relations with Sonny . Baldwin raises the theme of brotherhood and claims that the story implies that we are our brother 's keepers Baldwin stresses that brotherly support is more than control and coercion . Summing up , the story is about the struggle of darkness and light , of good and evil in humans


Baldwin , James (2002 . Sonny 's Blues . Oxford : Oxford University Press


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