Light And Darkness In Sonny's Blues

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In the short story, named Sonny's Blues, by author James Baldwin, the dark streets of Harlem, New York, get young people and children to take drugs as a way to relieve themselves from the inevitable darkness of their lives and futures. The narrator's brother, Sonny, a pianist struggles to show his emotions and instead releases them by playing music, he needed his brother to listen and understand. Music is his way of structuring his life and a way to keep him away from drugs. Sonny wants to be apart of a life without drugs. Light and darkness can be viewed by the connection of the brothers throughout the story, it shows the gap between them and how they come together again. The darkness portrays the reality of the suffering and pain on the streets …show more content…
In the opening paragraph the narrator says, "I stared at it in the swinging light of the subway car, and in the faces and bodies of the people, and in my own face, trapped in the darkness which roared outside". This quote is important because shows you the crippling society of this town that the brothers grew up in. The darkness shows the poor economy and structure of the town and the community. In this community, the people have been changed and have the thought how they will never exceeding in anything further in life. The narrator notices a similar path in life between Sonny, his brother, and his students. The narrator thinks that his students will start doing drugs and hanging on the streets, just as his brother did, because they see themselves with no future. He sees the harm the dark streets can do to young people.The narrator makes a connection between the dark past that Sonny faced and the dark present that the students …show more content…
His familiarity of reality is painful, he talks about a burning sensation of light. In the letter that Sonny had written to the narrator from jail, he says he feels, "like a man who's been trying to climb up out of some deep, real deep and funky hole and just saw the sun up there outside," ( ). Sonny is looking for the light, and he is knows that finding the light might be painful but he should still look towards the light. It shows the return from addiction, despair, and depression. He portrays Sonny's needing and wanting to leave the darkness and reach the light. Sonny needs his brothers understanding and his brothers love before he goes into the light, and a world without drugs.
Light and darkness resembles the suffering of Sonny and the narrator. The darkness shows the suffering and pain on the streets of Harlem, where the escape from reality is crime and drugs. The light is the relationship they build, and the relationship of being family once again, where the narrator helps Sonny get out of bad times. Throughout the book Sonny, the narrator's brother, went through light and dark. He started off in the dark, not sure of himself and taking drugs to feel better but than he bettered himself and reached the light with some help from his brother. Family can help you through a lot if you reach out and communicate with

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