“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin Internal and External conflicts
Sonny is a young boy from Harlem struggling with his addiction to heroin and is eventually sent to jail for it. The Narrator, Sonny’s older brother is a high school Algebra teacher who loses connection with Sonny and does not realize where Sonny is till he reads in the newspaper about Sonny being imprisoned. During Sonny’s journey to get back on his feet once he incurs internal and external conflicts along the way.
The series of events leading to Sonny getting back into the real world is really a struggle for him. He tries to find out who he really is and what he should be doing with his life, however along the way it’s not as easy as he would like. With external forces trying to tell him what he should do, such as: His brother, his Mother, and his sister in law’s Mother. His older brother allows him to stay with him until he graduates from college even though that’s not where Sonny’s passion is at. Sonny soon discovers his love for music, Jazz music, and practices every day his piano. This stirs conflict in the house hold because they soon grow tired of Sonny’s constant practicing. However there are also internal forces effecting the decisions that Sonny makes along the way as well, such as: Fighting his drug abuse, finding himself in what he wants to do , and his love for playing Jazz music on the piano.
When the narrator finds out that Sonny wants to become a Jazz pianist he is against it and rather Sonny go to school, because the narrator doesn’t think Sonny can make it in the music industry or that there is no future playing Jazz Music. The Narrator and Sonny’s Mother is also and external force because she influenced Sonny’s living situation. Before the Mothers passing she had a conversation with the narrator telling him to watch out, and take care of Sonny. Flashing back to when their Father was alive, he too had a Brother and was killed by a car full of white men that never even...
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