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Sonny’s Blues

Sonny was a young man who suffered the effects of drug and substance abuse from an early age.

We are told that , ”He had been picked up, the evening before, in a raid on an apartment downtown, for peddling and using heroin” (3) He grew up in Harlem and was often arrested for selling and using heroine. In the story of Sonny’s blues by Baldwin, the narrator describes, “Sonny as a caged animal that is trying to break free from the effects that prison has had on him and from drug addiction that led to his incarceration”. Sonny is described as being, “haunted by the burden of being poor, black and tapped within the confines of his community”. Sonny was an African American. I will examine the themes of respect, trust and communication from the story. Clark (2002)

The story begins with the unnamed narrator in a state of internal monologue. The narrator describes to us Sonny’s story as he tries to remember him growing up. We encounter communication at this stage when at the end of school day the narrator meets one of Sonny’s old friends and, “ together they start talking about Sonny”. The narrator loth’s Sonny’s friend and we are told that he “simultaneously hates and pities Sonny’s friend”. Sonny’s frind say, : I'm surprised at Sonny, though . . . I thought Sonny was a smart boy, I thought he was too smart to get hung.” (21) this is ironical given that he is a drug addict himself and no wonder the narrator loths him. The narrator understood clearly the effects of drug abuse as even being more gratifying than books. We see this is, “Yet it had happened and here I was, talking about algebra to a lot of boys who might, every one of them for all I knew, be popping off needles every time they went to the head.  Maybe it did more for them than algebra could”. (4) We see the absence of communication between Sonny and the narrator (hid older brother). We are told that as time passes, the narrator never writes to Sonny in...

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