Struggles In Sonny's Blues, By James Baldwin

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"Sonny 's Blues" written by James Baldwin tells a story of two brothers who lost their way at different points in their lives. The brothers have to reunite with each other to fix their pain endured from multiple occurrences. Brotherly Love is a term used to describe the kindness and protection relationship between brothers. This protection of one 's family is usually phrased as "my brother 's keeper." The story starts with Sonny 's, a musician and the narrator 's brother, arrest and his brother sees the article in the newspaper. The narrator does not believe the story at first, but soon realizes that he must help Sonny down a better path. Once Sonny is released from prison, he and the narrator reunite. The narrator allows Sonny to stay with …show more content…
During the story, the audience learns of the promise the narrator makes to his mother of protection Sonny at all times. The narrator breaks his promise leading to the fallout between him and Sonny. Later, the narrator makes his own promise to himself, the same as his mothers. At the end of the story, the brothers share a moment, creating a closer bond between them. "Sonny 's Blues," by James Baldwin expresses that a strong family relationship can heal the wounds of pain and suffering Throughout the story, the narrator and Sonny speak of the darkness American Americans faced living in Harlem. The people of the city experienced more struggles than happiness. The struggles lead many children into the darkness with no other place to turn. In "Sonny 's Blues: Complicated and Simple," Donald Murray believes the darkness represents "the harsh glare of reality" (Murray 354) for Sonny. Sonny 's darkness will lead him down a path of addiction to drugs. He wants to be …show more content…
Most of the stories he has written have had some sort of biblical foundation. The story of Sonny 's blues was no different. Baldwin placed multiple biblical symbolisms in the story. Baldwin compares Sonny and his brother to the Parable Son parable. Sonny represents the brother who wants to venture on his own to take his own risk. While, his brother stays on the right path to providing and protect his family. Through the story, the narrator neglects his brother after leaving for the war. James Tackach writes in "The Biblical Foundation of James Baldwin 's 'Sonny 's Blues '" that Sonny 's brother comes a "contemporary Cain" because of the negligence (Tackach 114). This situation represents another biblical story of Cain and Abel. The narrator becomes Sonny 's "keeper" just as Cain was to Abel (Tackach 114). The narrator does not succeed in his duty as "his brother 's keeper," failing to keep his promise to his mother. At the beginning of the story, the narrator is approached by a friend of Sonny. Sonny 's friend asks what he will do about Sonny, the narrator says, "I 'm not sure I 'm going to do anything. Anyway, what the hell can I do?" (Baldwin 60). That statement was Sonny 's brother 's way to ask, "Am I my brother 's keeper?" (Tackach 114). Baldwin used lots of biblical symbolism throughout the story. The narrator speaks of his daughters passing in the story. His daughter 's name was Grace, she is used for

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