This passage again illustrates the hardships of growing up black in America by showing the pervasive fear of the future and the sense of antagonism lurking outside the safety of the home.
The narrator feels like a failure for allowing them to grow up that way, and also for not having a safer place to bring Sonny to recover from his addiction.
As he paces back and forth, he sees a street-corner revival occurring outside his window and thinks about its significance. It was then that the narrator decided to write to Sonny. He answers that some people do. Sonny is also described by the narrator as wild, but not crazy.
Eventually, however, they find a compromise: When he comes back for the funeral, he has a talk with Sonny, trying to figure out who he is, because they are so distant from one another.
They keep in contact, and after Sonny gets out of jail, he goes to live with the narrator and his family.
After one especially difficult fight, Sonny told his brother that he could consider him dead from that point on. She told him that when his father was a young man, he watched his own brother get run down by a car full of white men who never bothered to stop.
Once Isabel's parents find this out, Sonny leaves their house, drops out of school, and joins the navy.
She told him the story of how his uncle died he was deliberately run over by drunken white menhow his father was never the same, and that the narrator has to watch over Sonny. In the beginning, he falters, as he has not played for over a year, but after a while, his playing becomes completely magical and enchants the narrator and everyone in the club.
The opening of the story is disorienting and full of menace. At this point, we learn how Sonny is related to the narrator—they are brothers.
The narrator then goes about his day; he is a teacher at a school in Harlem. Home on leave from the army, he has seen little of Sonny, who is then is school. Seeing him that day, the narrator realizes that he suddenly despises this man.
The fact that the narrator suffers so acutely from simply hearing bad news suggests that suffering is contagious. The middle section of the story is a flashback. Although Sonny loved the music, the rest of family had a hard time bearing his constant practicing.
Sonny says he is not going to die faster than anyone else trying not to suffer. He remembers the last day he saw his mother while on leave from the army, when she told him to watch out for his brother.
In an extended flashback, the narrator recalls how Sonny and their father used to fight with each other because they were so similar in spirit. Sonny, begrudgingly but somewhat excited about the pianoagrees.
Summary Analysis The story opens on the narrator unnamed who has read in the newspaper that his brother Sonny was picked up by the police the previous night for using and selling heroin.
The two brothers go to a small jazz club where everyone knows and respects Sonny. Sonny comes into the house, and asks the narrator if he wants to come and watch him play in Greenwich Village, and the narrator, unsure, somewhat begrudgingly agrees to go.Analysis of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin In the story of “Sonny’s Blues,” by Baldwin, the beginning of the story finds Sonny’s brother on his way to work reading about Sonny’s predicament.
Sonny's Blues" () is a short story by James Baldwin. It later appeared in the short story collection Going to Meet the Man.
Plot summary "Sonny's Blues" is a story written in the first-person singular narrative style. The story opens with the narrator, who reads about his younger brother named Sonny who has been caught in a heroin bust.
Harrison's Blues There can be little doubt that the characters who are the most similar in James Baldwin's short story "Sonny's Blues", and in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s short story "Harrison Bergeron", are the title characters of each respective work.
Sonny and the narrator go to a nightclub downtown (where Sonny is to play that night), and the narrator meets some of Sonny’s musician friends, including a man named Creole.
The narrator realizes how beloved and admired Sonny is in this circle of musicians, and he is a little surprised. Sonny's Blues study guide contains a biography of James Baldwin, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About Sonny's Blues Sonny's Blues Summary. Given Baldwin’s understanding of the blues, “Sonny’s Blues,” the story itself, is a form of the blues. It follows the same essential structure: it begins with a lost and anxious man, follows two brothers growing together, and ends with a moment of redemption.Download