Sonnys Blues takes place during the middle of the 20th century, a time when jazz music was at its peak of popularity in Harlem. It is a beautiful story about two brothers who seemingly love each other but have a very difficult time understanding each others lives. The older brother, who remains nameless, feels inextricably bound to his brother Sonny, not only because he is of relation, but because their mother wanted Sonny to be always protected and looked after. The story begins with Sonny being picked up by the police for peddling and using Heroin. Sonnys brother reads about it in the paper and does not know how to react primarily because they never understood one another, always argued, and rarely conversed. However, he had made a promise to his mother before she died to always look after Sonny, so eventually he writes to Sonny in jail, and they meet after he is paroled. Sonny, the protagonist, is constantly assailed by his older brother to change his life, go to school, and find direction. However, all Sonny wants to do is play the piano in Greenwich, and his older brother doesn't understand.
Throughout the story, the two are in discord with one another, but at the climax of the story, both Sonny and his brother find their harmony. As the story nears the end, Sonny asks his brother to accompany him to Greenwich in order to hear him play. His brother is skeptical, but he accepts the offer merely to support his brothers wish. When Sonny takes the stage, his piano seems, at first, out of sync with the jazz quartet. Although, when Sonny plays Am I Blue, he becomes lost in the music and his sorrow is protruded through the music. It as at this moment when his brother has an epiphany I felt my own tears begin to rise. And I was yet aware that this was only a moment, that the world waited outside, as hungry as a tiger, and that trouble stretched above us, longer than the sky(90). The story is then resolved, for Sonnys brother feels alive, and more importantly...
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