The Struggle In Sonny's Blues By James Baldwin

997 Words 4 Pages
In James Baldwin’s short story “Sonny’s Blues,” Sonny shows that no matter how bad someone’s circumstances are, they can always overcome them. Baldwin writes “it’s repulsive to think you have to suffer that much”(168), meaning people suffer more than normal, if they worked hard and didn’t go down the path they chose in the first place. Although sometimes people can't control their paths in life due to their circumstances at home and other aspects of their life, they can still work hard to overcome them. In Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s early life in Harlem shapes him into the man and musician he dreams of being.o This growth can be shown through his friend on a street Harlem, his parent’s death, and Sonny’s relationship with his brother.* …show more content…
Sonny’s decision to use drugs, and following the lifestyle of using drugs is brought to light by his friend. His friend says “ [he] never give Sonny nothing, . . . but a long time ago . . . Sonny asked [him] how it felt” (148). He proceeded to tell Sonny “it felt great” (148). This pushed Sonny to use heroin. Nobody could imagine how much pain and suffering Sonny was going through, so he turned to drugs to cope with his feelings. Not only did Sonny not have the greatest of friends, he also didn’t have the most ideal childhood. His childhood pushes him towards his drug use. Growing up in Harlem is a struggle for young kids. Baldwin writes that “the stores from which [they] had stolen” from had vanished, this states that Sonny’s childhood is full of theft and wrongdoing (152). His childhood influences his drug use too. Also boredom is a big part of his drug choices, most of the time they sat on “rooftops from which [they] had hurled tin cans” (152). Using drugs is another way the kids in Harlem can have “fun.” Lack of positive activities and good friends allows Sonny to discover drugs and to grow his addiction. This man that Sonny was growing to be is not who he dreamed of …show more content…
Sonny’s Idol Charlie Parker inspires him to create beautiful music. Sonny overcomes so many complications, with his parent’s death, his bad relations with his brother and his drug use. Sonny going through many struggles, but he persists and grows into a man he is proud of. His brother is finally able to open his eyes to all of the suffering Sonny is going through. Seeing Sonny’s suffering opens the reader’s eyes and the narrator’s eyes to how hard life is for the minority in

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