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Paper Topic:

Symbolism of darkness and light in `Sonnys Blues` and `Araby

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Metaphorical Light and Darkness : A Study of Two Literary Works

Light and darkness play vital roles in both James Joyce 's Araby ' and James Baldwin 's Sonny 's Blues . However , if the light and darkness in Araby ' is religious in nature , with nuances of romance , Sonny 's Blues ' explores light and darkness in terms of a struggle that may ultimately destroy or revive one person 's life . Light and darkness in both stories are metaphors for the principal themes , like growing up

love and the struggle between good and evil

Light and darkness are used to symbolize good and evil . When alone the boy from Araby ' wallows in a state of darkness . One rainy night he is alone and trying to control an urge that overwhelms him he makes himself believe that it is religious fervor and not temptation : It was a dark rainy evening and there was no sound in the house .Some distant lamp or lighted window gleamed below me . All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and , feeling that I was about to slip from them , I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled murmuring "O love ! O love " many times (Joyce 405 . However , the boy puts the object of his affection on a pedestal of saintly perfection The light from the lamp opposite our door caught the white curve of her neck , lit up her hair that rested there and , falling , lit up the hand upon the railing (Joyce 405 . On the other hand , Sonny 's Blues ' focuses on Sonny 's more explicit light-and-darkness struggle Sonny 's descent through drugs ' is his personal darkness , while his resurrection through jazz ' has become his light (Ognibene 36

Light and darkness are used to define the mood of the two stories Near the beginning of Sonny 's Blues , the narrator stared at [a news] in the swinging lights of the subway car , and in the faces and bodies of the people , and in [his] own face , trapped in the darkness which roared outside (Baldwin 37 . This happens when the narrator finds out that his brother has been arrested because of drugs . This is in the presence of swinging lights ' which add to the confusion of the moment instead of providing enlightenment to the narrator . He feels the darkness in Sonny , and in other young boys hooked on drugs , during that moment when he feels trapped in darkness . Near the end of the story the mood is hopeful : the narrator thinks that There isn 't any other tale to tell , it 's the only light we 've got in all this darkness (Baldwin 60 , when Sonny is reunited with his piano , and with jazz music . Meanwhile , Araby ' reflects the boy 's isolation when it begins with dreary words like musty , useless ' and waste . The boy 's neighborhood has drab , brown-colored houses (Joyce 404 , and the priest who is a former tenant in the boy 's house , has recently...

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