Essay about Analysis Of James Baldwin 's ' Sonny 's Blues '

1303 Words Oct 12th, 2015 6 Pages
Impacts of Place
The places that make up a day to day life are surprisingly consistent. Many hours are spent at school, work, and home. Perhaps a library or store. And yet, despite the routine of the everyday life, a remarkable amount of information can be discovered using the objects found in a home or the route taken on the way to work. Because authors create specific settings specifically to mold their characters’ viewpoints, this same focus on place is magnified in fictional works. The physical place, the time period in terms of its politics and social movements, and even the sensory perceptions of the physical surroundings all contribute to what the reader understands about a character. Unsurprisingly, the settings influence the symbolism, character development, and even the mood and tone of the piece. In James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues”, the main character grows up in Harlem with his brother, Sonny, who ends up addicted to heroin. The story explores themes of imprisonment and reinvention, of love and addiction. Yet none of these themes would be possible without the settings of the story. Through the physical environment ever present in Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues, the theme, mood, and character development of each major character is significantly influence.
From the first scene in the short story, the setting plays a major role in the character development of the narrator and the contrast between he and his brother, Sonny. The first scene has the narrator on…

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