Sonny's Blues Essay

1509 Words May 25th, 2011 7 Pages
How does Baldwin's real-life experience connect to his short story, "Sonny's Blues"?

The writer was a poor boy growing up. He was also a Negro, so things were bad for him and his family in white America. He probably felt sad every day of his childhood so he turned to books for entertainment and maybe escape. When he started reading, he found that he liked it and wanted to create stories for other people to enjoy, but he was a poor Negro boy who could not expect help from the whites, so he taught himself to write. That is similar to Sonny, who taught himself to play the piano.

In the final scene, Sonny performs some improvisational jazz. What is improvisational music? What do we learn about Sonny through his performance? Explain.
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The ending would have also been more difficult, because how could Baldwin write about Sonny’s triumph if Sonny is the one talking about it? People would have thought Sonny was conceited.

In what ways does "Sonny's Blues" tell a universal story? What is the theme of the story? In what ways is this theme emblematic of the times and in what ways does it transcend time and place for a more universal message?

This is a story about a bad boy that cut himself off from his family and went where no one wanted to follow him. He got in trouble and went to jail. He was a lost boy, and it looked like there was no hope for him. Only one person did not give up on him totally, and that was the older brother. Though he worried about Sonny and sometimes was tempted to give up, he never really did.

So this is like a story about someone who has a big problem in life and everyone thinks that there is nothing he can do to improve his situation. This story reminds me of the movie “Awakenings” with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. In that movie, DeNiro has a disease and he cannot talk or move or do anything. People think his life is over, but the doctor refuses to give up. He finds a special medicine and DeNiro comes to life for a while. In the end, DeNiro falls back into his catatonic state, but there is hope there. We learn that DeNiro is not a bad person but

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