Drugs And Addiction In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

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In the short story “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, we see the situation through the eyes of Sonny’s unnamed brother who is narrating it and living it. The two brothers live in two different worlds, with the narrator living a mundane life of a teacher, and Sonny living a life of struggles with becoming a famous musician and his addiction to drugs. Sonny’s addiction to drugs has caused a lot of problems which not only affected his life, but also the life of his brother. In the start of the short story Sonny’s problem with his heroin addiction can already be seen take place. The narrator reads the papers, news that Sonny had been caught “in a raid…for peddling and using heroin,” (Baldwin 91) his mind wandering and worried for his brother, he …show more content…
Sonny always wanted to write to his brother “[he] needed to hear from [him]…but [he] dug how much [he] must have hurt [him] and so [he] didn’t write,” (Baldwin 97) fearing that he would hurt him even more. He seemed very sorry about the situation, wishing he could be like his “Mama and say the Lord’s will be done,” but he seems hesitant and still feels guilty for causing so much trouble. Later on the two brothers meet up again and the narrator invites Sonny to the house. Even though the two are getting on good terms the narrator still had fears about Sonny’s drug addiction. It seemed as if the experience has made him have some sort of trauma. He kept thinking about “dope addiction” (Baldwin 99) and “how [he] couldn’t help watching Sonny for signs.” (Baldwin 99) He admits that he “wasn’t doing it out of malice” (Baldwin 99) but he just wanted Sonny to “tell him he was safe.” (Baldwin …show more content…
During the performance Sonny let out a tale with his song. The music they played was “tightened and deepened…at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death…,” (Baldwin 114) as though it was retelling the of “how [they] suffered, and how [they] are delighted, and how [they] may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.” (Baldwin 114) The narrator saw the story of their life and saw “[his] little girl again and felt Isabel’s tears again, and felt [his] own tears begin to rise…,” (Baldwin 114) This is where the narrator realized how much they both suffered but will overcome

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