In James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues,” the unspoken brotherly bond between the narrator and his younger brother Sonny is demonstrated through the narrator’s point of view. The two brothers have not spoken in years until the narrator receives a letter from Sonny after his daughter dies. He takes this moment as an important sign from Sonny, feeling the need to respond. While both Sonny and the narrator live in separate worlds, all Sonny needs is a brother to care for him while the narrator finds himself in the past eventually learning his role as an older brother.
When the narrator and Sonny finally get a chance to speak to each other after many years, they begin to slowly open up to each other the grim reality that they face. "I realized, with this mocking look, that there stood between us, forever, beyond the power of time of forgiveness, the fact that I had held silence-- so long!-- when he had needed human speech to help him. (pg 66). The narrator realizes that it was his responsibility to be there for his younger brother for all the years, that Sonny needed him. He doesn’t know if Sonny will be able to forgive him. Although the narrator is there for his brother now, he realizes he could have been an influence to him for his entire life, instead of letting him get so messed up. The two characters come to the realization that they do share a brotherly bond, and that the narrator cares deeply for his brother even after all the time apart. The narrator says, “I don’t give a damn what other people do, I don’t even care how they suffer. I just care how you suffer." (pg 66). He cares about his brother, which is what Sonny has needed. An older brother to tell him that he should not give up, that he should make smart decisions and make something of himself, rather than just throw his life away. The narrator is trying to make up for all the time apart that he has spent from Sonny during his time of need, and perhaps that is his way of making himself feel...
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