Brotherly Love In Sonny's Blue By James Baldwin

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In the short story “Sonny’s Blue” by James Baldwin the first five pages not only helps us understand our main characters but it give us a little background on them. The narrator who is unnamed sees a news article which features his younger brother, who has been arrested for selling and using heroin. While preparing for his day as an algebra teacher he remembers his brother as a child much like the children he teaches. He realizes that his students could end up like Sonny because of the obstacles presented to them in Harlem which make it harder especially for young men to find success. At the end of his day he sees one of Sonny’s old friends who he remembers from the block. The old friend is dirty and high and has traveled to the narrator’s …show more content…
Even though the narrator has not seen his brother and has partially disowned his brother, he still has love and care for his that only a sibling could understand. The relation between the two brothers mirrors the relationship between the brothers Cain and Abel in the Bible. In that story, Cain asks God is he supposed to be his brother’s keeper after murdering Abel. In Sonny’s Blue our narrator is worried about his brother wellbeing after he has already disowned him for years. The narrator can’t seem to get his brother off of his mind even as he continues his day he shows genuine concern for his brother’s welfare. Once the narrator initially gets word of the arrest he said “I was scared for Sonny. He became real to me again. A great block of ice got settled in my belly and kept melting there slowly all day long, while I taught my algebra classes, it was a special kind of ice. It kept melting sending trickle of ice water all up and down my vein, but it never got less.” (Paragraph 2) The ice represents the worry that the narrator has for his brother while the worry is constantly melting, the thoughts he has doesn’t let the worry easy up. The narrator continues to show brotherly love when he offers up money and time to the old friend, even though he feels resentment and hatred toward the individual. The narrator is able to deal with his presents and even offers him money, because he was able to understand and in a way respect his struggle. The theme of brotherly love represented in the first five pages shows our narrator is just human, it further allows the reader to appreciate his voice, and opinion given throughout the rest of the story, because we understand him, his values and validate him and he is a reliable narrator. Not only is our narrator prone to brotherly love he has a sense obligated, not only to his brother but to the community. Harlem is plagued by drugs, poverty, and frustration, but

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