The feelings of helplessness, confusion, and failure are all feelings expressed in the short story “Sonny's Blues”. “Sonny's Blues” is a story about two brothers trying to help each other out as they face many problem in their life and the story uses imagery of darkness and light to express certain situations. Darkness was used to mostly express Sonny's addiction but also the narrators personal life. The narrator was constantly surrounded by darkness even though he thought he was living a bright and successful life. The imagery light was noticeable in Sonny's physical character and early childhood. Light was strongly present in the final scene of the story when the brothers when at the bar and sonny was playing his music. This story ties together the lives of to brothers who have grown apart with the use of dark and light imagery.
Imagery of darkness is relevant at the beginning of the story, when the narrator is on the dark subway heading to work and happens to be reading about Sonny's arrest. The fact that the subway was dark and the narrator could barely read the news of his brothers arrest related to how terrible the arrest was. The lights in the subway related to the light imagery because the lights in the subway were very dim which correlated to how Sonny's once bright future had become very dim. The cars light helps the narrator notice his face in the subway cars window as it is traveling thorough the dark tunnel and it seems that his face is outside of the subway traveling along in the darkness. This is a foreshadowing image that becomes more prevailing as the story proceeds into the narrators life of darkness.
The narrator chose to be in a dark place even though on the outside it seemed like he was leading a bright life. He was a family man, with a great family, job as an algebra teacher, and lived in a decent neighborhood in Harlem.