Father And Son Relationship In Sonny's Blues, By James Baldwin

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Sonny 's Blues Sonny 's Blues by James Baldwin chronicles the relationship between Sonny, a troubled musician, and his brother, the main character and narrator of the story. The tale begins with the narrator learning through a newspaper that his brother, Sonny, has been arrested for heroin possession. Previously estranged from his brother, the narrator does not make any effort to get in contact with Sonny after his arrest until the narrator 's daughter, Grace, passes away which results in him having a change of heart. Although still hesitant, the narrator begins to rebuild his relationship with his brother which leads to the pinnacle of the story where the two brothers have a heart to heart. The narrator walks away from this conversation with …show more content…
With suffering such a personal loss, he was able to sympathize more with Sonny 's situation and put aside the past: " I think I may have written Sonny the very day that little Grace was buried. I was sitting in the living room in the dark, by myself, and I suddenly thought of Sonny. My trouble made his real." (Baldwin, 305) He was met with a response that was not all too different from his own feelings as Sonny was afraid to contact the narrator just as the narrator was afraid to contact Sonny. This contact was the first stepping stone in the two brothers rebuilding their relationship. While the narrator still felt horrible about not contacting him sooner, with their renewed relationship, the narrator began to see beyond his own ways and open his mind to what Sonny is feeling; he states: " When I saw him many things I thought I had forgotten came flooding back to me. This was because I had begun, finally, to wonder about Sonny, about the life that Sonny lived inside." (Baldwin, 296) Even though it was a start, the narrator still had his reservations about Sonny. Once Sonny was released, he felt awkward around him like Sonny 's addiction and downfall was the elephant in the room that needed to be addressed but he didn 't know how to, or even if he should, start a conversation. The …show more content…
Before Sonny even tells him where he wanted to take him that night, the narrator sensed that the outing had a deeper meaning to Sonny. As they start to talk about Sonny 's music and drug addiction, the narrator starts to become agitated with Sonny 's responses but, instead of fighting with Sonny like in the past, he felt that it would be better to respect their differences and listen to what Sonny had to say: "And something told me that I should curb my tongue, that Sonny was doing his best to talk, that I should listen." (Baldwin, 308) He still felt guilt for not protecting Sonny as he promised he would, but at the same time he still did not completely understand Sonny nor know how to help him. Regardless, this time around he was determined to not fail Sonny and be there for him. The narrators patience and determination pays off as Sonny finally begins to open up to his brother about his struggles and downfall. He tells the narrator the story of how he got to the point he did and the emotions he felt throughout the ordeal. After, Sonny and the narrator went to the club for Sonny 's gig that night and, after their talk, the narrator was able to go into it with a greater understanding of Sonny which was reflected in his thoughts as he watched Sonny play. Sonny 's way of coping with his feelings was always though playing music and

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