2. Analyze the character of the narrator, Sonny’s older brother. What is the effect on the story of having him narrate the story? Why do you think the narrator remains nameless throughout the story? How is this story about the narrator as well as about Sonny?
The narrator, Sonny’s big brother, seems to be the quintessential big brother and he was in a lot of ways thrown into that role. After their parents died, he became protective and looked out for his little brother’s best interest. He turned out a lot different sonny and he developed a very different point of view on most things than sonny. The narrator became a teacher, and sonny became a drug addict. He also got married and had children. Sonny’s big brother understood the importance of continuing his education and getting what he considered a good job, and he tried to instill these beliefs in sonny after their parents died, but Sonny was content with being a struggling musician. The narrator was so critical of Sonny’s decision because he wanted to keep him safe, although he had good intentions this often made them bump heads. Although Sonny and the narrator grew up in the same conditions, the same poverty and drug stricken neighborhood, and also both had to deal with the deaths of their parents, they were also very different. There upbringing affected both of them differently and with them being so much different, having Sonny’s brother narrate the story adds an interesting twist to “Sonny’s Blues” and gives us an opportunity to understand sonny’s blues from another perspective, we get to see how his brother feels about what sonny is going through and how his blues also affects him. With sonny’s brother being the narrator, we get a chance to experience sonny’s life and bad choices in two different sets of eyes. In “Sonny’s Blues” the narrator remains nameless to not take away from the point of the story and the importance of Sonny’s struggles. Both the narrator and his...
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