The story “Sonny’s Blues,” by James Baldwin shows the life

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The story "Sonny's Blues," by James Baldwin shows the life of a man addicted to drugs and music, named Sonny, through the eyes of his brother, the narrator. It seems as though, even through much conflict between the two brothers during their lives, that they both had a genuine care for one another. The narrator seemed as if he wanted the best for his younger sibling, yet he felt however he could never have a strong enough impact to change Sonny's life, which he thought was spiraling downward.

The narrator, at first, reads about Sonny, who at this point we haven't the slightest idea who he might be, in a newspaper while on the way to a Harlem school, where he is a teacher. The newspaper read that Sonny: "…had been picked up, the night before, in a raid on an apartment downtown, for peddling and using heroine."

From the text we learn that it had been some time since the narrator had seen this character. He remembers Sonny as: "…a good boy, he hadn't ever turned hard or evil or disrespectful, the way others had…" So at this point, it seems as though he doesn't believe that this incident happened or doesn't want to believe.

Dealing with thoughts about Sonny the whole day takes their toll on the narrator. On the way out of the school, at the end of the day, the narrator runs into an old friend of Sonny's. A conversation develops about him and what is to be done about his future. The narrator gets some insight from this friend on what Sonny is going through.

He realizes that Sonny may never get over his addiction and that, regardless of how much he wanted to, couldn't really do anything to be...



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