How are the narrator and Sonny different?
Compared to most of the men in his community, the narrator has succeeded: he has a wife, two children, and a good job as a teacher. Unlike Sonny, the narrator has a difficult time expressing his ideas and emotions, and only when his young daughter dies does he open up and write to his brother.
How would this story change if it were told by Sonny?
The story would be changed if it were told by Sonny; by we would know more about his experience and how he felt. Also, Sonny’s point of view would be a lot darker and deeper. Since, Sonny was under the influence in part of the story, he would be considered as an unreliable narrator.
What are the narrator’s ways of coping with his pain and fear in Sonny’s Blues?
Answer and Explanation: In ”Sonny’s Blues,” the narrator’s way of coping is through distancing himself from people, places, and things that would cause him pain and fear. When he learns about Sonny’s arrest, his initial instinct was to not get involved with him.
What is the main idea of Sonny’s Blues?
The main themes in “Sonny’s Blues” are the power of music, escaping the past, and family support. The power of music: Sonny compares music’s affective power to that of heroin. The narrator reflects on music’s ability to transmute suffering.
What happened in Sonny’s Blues?
James Baldwin ‘s “Sonny’s Blues” is the story of a young jazz musician (Sonny) from Harlem, NY who gets addicted to heroin, is arrested for using and selling drugs, and returns to his childhood neighborhood after his release from prison.
What’s the brother’s problem with Sonny?
As he wonders what Sonny’s face is like now, we learn what the newspaper story is about: Sonny, the narrator’s younger brother, has been arrested for selling and using heroin. Apparently the narrator had suspected that Sonny was dabbling in drugs, but he tried to ignore his suspicions.
What does music symbolize in Sonny’s Blues?
Jazz music represents passion and escape for Sonny. The very people the narrator negatively associates with jazz are the ones who function as a sort of second family for Sonny. While jazz is alien to the narrator, it’s comfortable and comforting for Sonny.
How does music especially the blues function as a theme in Sonny’s Blues?
Music plays an integral role in the development of social theory and understanding of identity. Sonny’s Blues incorporates the idea of music to help define the characters and establish a better understanding of the sociopolitical reality and culture of Harlem.
Who is the narrator in Sonny’s Blues?
“Sonny’s Blues” is told in the first person from the point of view of an unnamed narrator who, we find out, is Sonny’s brother. The narrator in this story is an interesting figure. He’s mostly telling us Sonny’s story, and this would seem to make him a peripheral character instead of a central one.
What story is told both through and about music in Sonny’s Blues?
Music is mentioned many times throughout “Sonny’s Blues”. The story that seems to be told both through and about music in “Sonny’s Blues” is that music can help us to make connections with other people, which is exactly what occurred between the narrator and Sonny.
When was Sonny’s Blues written?
What is the exposition in Sonny’s Blues?
The exposition of the “Sonny’s Blues” starts when the narrator introduces characters, scene, and situation of the story. The narrator learns from a newspaper that his younger brother, Sonny, has been arrested “for peddling and using heroin.” (Baldwin 83) The narrator is a high school teacher, and his wife is Isabel.
What is the inciting incident in Sonny’s Blues?
The inciting incident—what prompts the older brother to tell Sonny’s story—is a police report in the newspaper, citing Sonny’s arrest the night before.
What kind of person is Sonny?
Sonny. The narrator’s wayward younger brother. Sonny is a troubled young man who becomes addicted to heroin at an early age. Unlike many of the young boys in the neighborhood, Sonny is not hard or brutal.
What is the source of conflict between the narrator and Sonny?
The conflict between the narrator and Sonny, then, derives from the fact that they negotiate their black existences very differently. Sonny has chosen to devote himself to music, which the narrator does not understand.