Sonny's Blues

Topics: Fiction, Drug addiction, Short story Pages: 3 (1106 words) Published: November 16, 2010
Sonny’s blues--Suffering
After analyzing the short story “Sonny's Blues,” suffering seems to be the major theme of the story. Suffering scan be transformed into a form of expression. Nothing exemplifies that more than the setting and mood of the story. The spectrum of the irony contributed more to the suffering than anything else. The structure of the story is particularly striking because of the way irony leads to liberation. Suffering was liberated by the passion and the relapse of dark environment Sonny had. Sonny and his brother faced many struggles during the time they lived. Growing up in an environment where poverty, depression, drugs is the escape route in life. Baldwin took two brothers who were initially brought in the same environment and portrayed two opposite spectrums of where two paths can lead. I think it’s ironic how the two brothers are brought up under the same room but they ended up on completely two different paths in the beginning of the story. To make matters worse, the narrator is an algebra teacher while Sonny is a drug addict. For Sonny, heroin is a seductive outlet for his blues, but he knows that in the end it will kill him. Sonny is looking for a way to conceal the blues within him but admits in a letter to his brother that "trouble is the one thing that never does get stopped.'' Music promises freedom from these blues, though, and during Sonny's solo at the end of the story his brother sees this: "he could help us to be free if we would just listen, that he would never be free until we did. I heard what he had gone through, and would continue to go through until he came to rest in earth." Sonny went into music, which is not a very secure profession; while his brother chose to go to college and become an algebra teacher, a stable job. Sonny's habits are very carefree and laid-back while his brother's attitude is conservative and strict. Sonny is carefree and single while the narrator is married with children. Sonny became addicted...
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