Type: Review
Pages: 5 | Words: 1222
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

“Sonny’s Blues” is a short story written by James Baldwin is regarding the influence of music on human emotions and self-expression. The reader of the “Sonny’s Blues” will be always in touch of the characters, tone, theme, dialogue, irony and conflict. “Sonny Blues” is the story about a musician and his elder brother. James Baldwin’s story “Sonny’s Blues” plays an extremely significant part of life, even the story is a “blues” itself, all over the whole story there is a sad mood. As in the story Sonny is getting out of track of normal life by being drag addicted, while his brother knowing it keeps him away from it and thinks Sonny as wild. As well, the story depicts the tendency of being secure and captivating risk. There are some thematic relations connecting the sense of “blues” music itself and for the story. The surprising idea of the story is that the music has a deep theme in the story and shows that nothing but music can keep away a person from any dangers easily. The hypothetical question is “HOW THE POWER OF HUMAN EMOTIONS AND SELF-EXPRESSION ENUMERATED IN THE  IS A JAMES BALDWIN’S SHORT STORY “SONNY’S BLUES”. 

This paper will focus on the type of music prioritized in the story and how it is appeared with a role on the story’s characters.

James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is a short story set in Harlem of New York City. This essay will focus on the functions the blues played in the story.  The main reason for writing this essay is that the “Sonny’s Blues” is almost going to be lost, and attempting to be found, inside the framework of being a black man in the society; and of discovering oneself by the blues (both as music and as storytelling) as there are so many black men.

The Theme of Music and Black Agony in “Sonny’s Blues”

The Blues is such a sort of black music about the hurt and sadness of life. In addition to the expression of juxtaposition of two brothers’ different paths, it also conveys the theme of music and excellent playing of the blues by Jazz musicians, and the superseding theme of black agony. “Sonny’s Blues” is a major instance of undertakings of everyday that are occurring in the entire world. Families are fighting everyday to uphold their close relations. Every day within the world someone is struggling for support and being regarded. This story can dramatically open the eyes for somebody of us who does not maintain a close contact with their loved ones. Whatever the time is getting so tough; all should always attach their family members with them and stay close to there for them. If Sonny and his brother would stay together, perhaps none of them would encounter any of the dilemmas individually. Logically it is exact most probably that Sonny’s brother could not resist him from getting drags, but perhaps his existence beside Sonny could terminated Sonny’s growing interest in mind of using drugs. Writer placed the theme of this story so cautiously so that the reader can well involve himself to it.

The story emphasizes on Jazz music on which Sonny has a great attraction, as we get evidence in the story that Sonny desired to be a great Jazz musician. Jazz music has a great meaning for the characters, their relationship and their struggles. Jazz rebuilds the relationship between two brothers. When Sonny become addicted with drags it throws him into many struggles such as imprisonment and detachment from family, that time Jazz inspired him to get back to the normal life. When Sonny is psychologically broken down, Jazz assists him to go through his social environment and searching for truth and significance.

Both the condition of being a part of society and the music is the structural base of the story, and there is a share of both the narrator and his brother Sonny. The two brothers’ opposing lives has a contribution in the theme of being safe and taking risks. In the story two brothers’ characters are described differently. While the elder brother likes to be away from any kind of dangers surrounding him, his younger brother Sonny likes to adopt dangers surrounding him. But when he actually wants to get out from the dangers, he could not anyhow, but only his music helped him to be escaped. The music is appeared here as the mean of way-out from life’s problems.

Music is appeared significantly on sonny’s character as well as other characters of the story. The story deeply makes the reader understood how music can play a significant influential role in the life. As it is appeared in the story that sonny has little interest in school but a great interest in music. Music can be said as responsible for the separate life style of two brothers. With the great attraction in music Sonny unconsciously becomes habituated with taking drags and when it is revealed, he tries to be escaped himself by joining Navy or otherwise. The story not only condemns music for harmful beginning but also acknowledges its significance in life. As we observe in the story that when Sonny find no escape from the dangers surrounding him, then only music gives him the escape. As according to the story, after getting back from drag addicted life Sonny left his school and completely put his concentration on Jazz music, since he is originally likes Jazz music. Through the Jazz music Sonny’s brother’s attitude was changed towards music, his mother, his attitude to his brother, and the African American culture. He treated only classical music as respectable and practical. Until he understood that there was a firm connection through jazz, that can be rated as same as classical music too. Through blues played by Sonny, he understands what actually taken place in Sonny’s life as well as his own. This fact means that Jazz has a great capability for attaining attention of someone through inserting the actual thought of it deeply into the mind of listener. After the Jazz Sonny’s brother gets conventional visions about culture and society of black. The culture of African American has been a common culture where persons obtain their distinctiveness or sense from their family and community relationship. Culture of African American has had an advantageous role in assisting the black community to meet head-on it’s past and present. A new understanding is gained by him now about his own culture and community, the modifications in attitude and awareness that consequences in his reconnection with his society.

James Baldwin wrote the story “Sonny’s Blues” 1,876 words in 2002 from 9 sources, which is great integration of music with literature. In the story he depicted a pathetic story about two brothers and their family as well as their personal life, at the same time he also depicted that how music can powerfully influence a person’s personal and family life. One thing is understood acutely by the writer through the story that when a person find nothing attractive in the life for leading a normal pleasant life, then perhaps music not only but considerably provide that person a more enjoyable and reasonable mean of life. James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” can be a great inspiration especially for those kind of readers who are just in the same position as Sonny or his brother are in the story.

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