Compare and Contrast the 2 Brothers in Sonnys Blues

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The story, Sonny’s Blues, describes the lives of two brothers growing up in Harlem in the early 1960’s. Sonny and his brother are different in the way the go about life in general. They were both raised in the same household, yet they grew up to be totally different people. As the story progresses we see that both brothers have troubles in their lives and we get to see how each thinks and acts when facing such ordeals. While the brothers differ in the way they internalize and cope with their problems, they both show selfish characteristics, but ultimately feel remorseful for not being in each others’ lives.

The narrator though an educator, is not very good at verbalizing his emotions. He tends to be the person who keeps everything inside and lets all his emotions turn to resentment. When he found out his brother had been arrested he still couldn’t verbalize how he felt knowing his brother was a junkie, “I couldn't believe it: but what I mean by that is that I couldn't find any room for it anywhere inside me. I had kept it outside me for a long time. I hadn't wanted to know. I had had suspicions, but I didn't name them, I kept putting them away” (Baldwin). For many years, the narrator has been stuffing his emotions down, ultimately resulting in complete disassociation from situations for example his mothers and daughters death Also after finding out that Sonny was arrested, he sees a kid that was friends with Sonny and automatically has anger for him even though realistically he had nothing to do with Sonny’s arrest, “But now, abruptly, I hated him. I couldn't stand the way he looked at me” (Baldwin). That narrator is unable to cope and deal with problems as they come, instead he acts like a child, sort of folding his arms and giving the silent treatment or automatically jumping to conclusions to put himself on a pedestal. Sonny runs away from his problems, both mentally and physically. Even though he is facing his problems head on as opposed to the brother who...
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