Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin
The short story Sonny?s Blues by James Baldwin is about how the narrator found back his younger brother with whom they have been divided through years. As the narrator recollects their early years and searches for new keys to restore communication with his brother Sonny, it seems that he himself tries to get why they have been apart for so long. It turns out that the greatest thing to divide them was misunderstanding and difference in world view, and most of all, the elder brother?s lack of wish to understand Sonny when he needed support.

This key problem becomes obvious when we read the dialogue between the two brothers in the middle of the story. The subject of their dispute is suffering. And while Sonny insists that everyone seeks for a remedy to cease the pain, his brother argues that sufferings are inevitable and it is better to take them. Sonny them becomes inpatient: "But nobody just takes it," Sonny cried, "that's what I'm telling you! Everybody tries not to. You're just hung up on the way some people try-it's not your way!" (Baldwin 29). The narrator sees the problem in the lack of will and lack of desire to enjoy life, while Sonny tries to explain that there is trouble inside and he can?t do anything with it. ?You walk these streets, black and funky and cold, and there's not really a living ass to talk to, and there's nothing shaking, and there's no way of getting it out- that storm inside. You can't talk it and you can't make love with it, and when you finally try to get with it and play it, you realize nobody's listening,? ? this is how Sonny describes his feelings, and here we see the chief problem of the story (Baldwin 33). The narrator could not here his brother and could not provide the necessary support in time. Sonny wanted to find relief in music, but his brother did not find jazz a good way to earn for living. Thus, Sonny was restricted in his capacities and found easier way to ease the pain. This is how he became drug addicted and got behind the bars.

Being focused on this issue, we can realize that through the whole story the narrator tries to find the reason why his brother ended up with so many troubles. He recollects their childhood, Sonny?s relationship with their father, the business of their mother, but it turns out that it were their own relations that influenced the musician. This argument can be proved by one more situation when the two brothers admire a female singer. "When she was singing before," said Sonny, abruptly, "her voice reminded me for a minute of what heroin feels like sometimes-when it's in your veins. It makes you feel sort of warm and cool at the same time. And distant. And- and sure? (Baldwin 46). Further, in the end the narrator sees his brother playing the piano and finally realizes how important music was for Sonny. It seems significant to pay attention to this moment, because it can not only show the jazz player in a new light, but it also reflects the inner world of the narrator and the essential shift that has been done inside of him and has resulted in their reunion reached through mutual understanding.

Work Cited
Baldwin, James. Sonny?s Blues. Stuttgart: Klett International, 2000.

Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin 7.9 of 10 on the basis of 1724 Review.