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

1094 Words May 1st, 2016 5 Pages
In the short story “Sonny’s Blues”, the author James Baldwin writes in first person point of view and begins the story by revealing his little brother has been arrested and is in prison for being involved with the very addictive drug, heroin. Sonny was a smart kid growing up until his older brother, the narrator, joined the army and his parents died before he entered adulthood. The narrator of the story took on a parental role towards Sonny after their parents had died but soon after lost touch with his brother because of differences in their relationship. Sonny had a passion for creating music and perused his dream, which is believed to be what led to prison. Throughout the story the narrator speaks of many different concerns for his brother Sonny, as well as personal struggles to understand his brother’s lifestyle and the darkness everyone faces. The author combines the use of imagery, symbolism, and setting to portray the message of two brothers living distinctly different lives, coming together to understand one another and realizing that one lifestyle is no better than another.
The setting takes place in Harlem, a town which both brothers grew up in and the narrator remained. The setting of the story helps explain what the two brothers were up against growing up and how it is so easy to go down the wrong path. It help explains how Sonny turned out dramatically different than his brother even though they had the similar childhoods. The setting used in this story gives…

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