Consequently, tension is formed between the brothers because of their lack of agreement on the issue. In the concluding parts of the story we see Sonny realize that playing jazz is his anti-drug. This quote summarizes the story in a way. This conflict,however, has happened before the situation in the introduction of the story but is mentioned further in the story. Because that brings out the truth of reality. How to cite this page Choose cite format: We the readers never know what path Sonny chooses, to continue on the journey to a better life or back to his old ways, using drugs and making other life-changing decisions for the worse.

Our feelings must be heard in order to keep them unique. In the concluding parts of the story we see Sonny realize that playing jazz is his anti-drug. When Sonny gets out of rehab, he goes to live with his brother, and that is where we learn about Sonny’s interest, possible obsession, with jazz music. At the end, Sonny even invites his brother to a jazz performance that he is performing in later in the night. The story is about a boy names Sonny, somebody good who fell in the grip of drugs, particularly heroin. Sonny used Jazz as his accomplishment high, a good high. Sonny expresses himself through jazz music while his brother, the narrator, expresses himself by stating his point of view of his own life and the life of his brother through the art of writing.

Notice that none of my quotes are “hanging” alone. He understands what his brother is going through, to an extant.

james baldwin sonnys blues thesis

Also music is a great way to express what you are feeling. Taking place in the drug-plagued, poverty-stricken, and frustrated streets of Harlem in the s, the setting aids any reader in understanding the obstacles and hardships the narrator and his brother faced growing up in Harlem. Refer to the “Writing About Fiction” fun-pack that I gave you in class last week for help on formatting, etc. Sonny knew that he wanted to become an accomplished Jazz pianist. Their stories are important, just like all the ones that come before them.


Playing jazz on his piano allows Sonny to cope with himself, and as stated earlier, tell his story. Their stories are expressed different ways but they still affected the other.

He has found himself institutionalized, but it may be beneficial to him, because it gave him time to realize that the things he is involved in are wrong, including drug-use.

With the authors loss of his daughter comes to accept Sonny for who he is and not because of what he is involved in. I bet you was smoking at my age, tell the truth. This action engenders the narrator to reflect on his relationship with Sonny.

James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues Essay

He feels that playing music is his purpose in life and essentially that is what keeps him living. It appears again in the strained conversation between them after Sonny reveals to the narrator that he wants to play jazz.

This story fulfills its accuracy toward the original quote. Everything we do in life is a learning experience. The bad drug, however, is heroin, a common substance used among Harlem residents during this time period. From the beginning of the book you can see this. Sonny deals with a drug issue and his brother deals with loosing sonny to his addiction.

James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues Essay Example for Free – Sample words

Although it is not clarified throughout the course of the story exactly what his name is, the narrator, we as readers do know that he is very close to Sonny and is able to understand how he feels. How to cite this page Choose cite format: The brotherly feud is made clear very early on in the book.


In the end, their brotherhood and reuniting is the true triumph for both of them. It is unhealthy to keep trouble bottled up inside and like Sonny and his brother talking things out could even make your friendship stronger. In Sonny’s case, music is his religion and most of all his passion.

He is constantly thinking of Sonny and his struggles. That is why setting forth your opinions and openly expressing them is key to living well. Also in the text the brother takes a different approach of dealing with his suffering, he uses the art of listening. Sonny tries many things to keep from suffering and dying inside.

james baldwin sonnys blues thesis

jamex This quote summarizes the story in a way. I feel that music balxwin a very powerful tool it can bring people together like sonny and his brother. Sometimes just talking about it is the best healer. Sonnys brother, the unknown author, also goes through a struggle. After he dwells on the pain from his loss, he has a revelation into Sonny’s life of suffering. We should all remember this because if we hear these tales of suffering from the people around us we can learn that we are all linked by suffering, and maybe we can use this tgesis and create something positive, like a stronger relationship, just as the two brothers did in “Sonny’s Blues”.

But now there was something very strained in his laugh.