The Conflicts between Siblings
In the story “Sonny’s blues”, the Sonny’s brother is the narrator and main character; his name is never mentioned throughout the story. He and Sonny are the two brothers with a big difference of their ages. They don’t spend too much time with each other since they grow up. They have different world. The narrator is a high school algebra teacher and family man. Sunny is through his brother’s eyes, as a quiet, introspective person with a tendency to withdraw inside himself. Sonny is also described by the narrator as wild, but not crazy. He takes drugs which led him to jail. He wants to be a musician because of his passion for jazz. The narrator wishes his brother to have a regular and stable job as himself, but doesn’t work unsteadily as a musician. Sunny doesn’t finish school, so he is hard to find a job which is same as his brother’s thought. He doesn’t have too many work choices like other black youths during the years. Sunny and his brother have different life styles. The narrator promises their mother to take care of Sunny, but he thinks he does not do it well. They have different philosophy and different understanding of career paths. After the narrator’s daughter dies, the narrator and Sunny talk to each other. The narrator finally understands of Sonny’s pursuit of music.
In the story “Everyday use”, Dee is oldest daughter of "Mama" and sister to Maggie. She is a educated, worldly, and deeply determined girl; she gets everything what she wants. Maggie is the younger daughter who stays with Mama while Dee goes to school. She wants to stay with her mother because she is an unintelligent and unattractive girl. Dee wants to escape from the village, and she always dresses herself attractively. Dee is successfully to have better education and opportunity to see the world. Maggie gets stuck because of her shy character. Dee is an independent girl, and Maggie is a dependent girl. They have different understandings of the life. Dee feels embracing about Maggie and their mother by different attitudes to the world, physical appearance, and their education. The conflicts between two sisters are not solved in the story. In both of the stories, sibling rivalry, conflicts of their relation and burden responsibility of one to the other are the similarities, and solution to their conflicts is the difference.
Sibling rivalry through out of both stories. In “Sonny’s Blues”, the narrator wishes his brother have consistent life same as his. He thinks he is older than Sonny, so he has more life experiences. He should take care of his brother because Sonny has dealing with drugs. “That last conversation between Baldwin's narrator and his mother suggests that he should be his brother's keeper, but the narrator has failed miserably at that duty, which is apparent in the telling opening sentence of "Sonny's Blues": "I read about it [Sonny's arrest] in the paper, in the subway, on my way to work". If the narrator had to rely on a newspaper report to become aware of Sonny's trouble, he could not have been keeping his promise to his mother to care for his younger brother. Sonny did not even bother to call his older brother after the arrest.” (THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION OF JAMES BALDWIN'S "SONNY'S BLUES" Page6 by James Tackach) The narrator doesn’t know sonny is not a kid anymore. Sonny chooses to be a jazz musician is not an impulsive decision since he has grown up. Sonny wants to escape from the Harlem, so he is not the young man who messes up his own life. In the “Everyday Use”, the sibling rivalry still exists. Even though, Maggie is a compliant girl, Dee still wants to beat her from everywhere. She is a strong-minded girl and leads Maggie around by the nose. In their family, Dee represents educational, fashionable, self-confident person, but Maggie is a diffident, low-pitched, awkward girl. Maggie values the family quilts for their sentiment and usefulness. She learned how to quilt from...
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