Redemption in Sonny's Blues Essay

Pages: 3 (1001 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Music

Sonny's Blues

James Baldwin's Sonny's Blues is a story of a tragic figure who's life is destroyed by drugs, but it is also the story of one man's redemption. The natural reaction is to believe that it is the same man, but the person seeking redemption is not the abuser of drugs, instead it is that person's brother, the narrator. Although promising his dying mother he would take care of Sonny, Sonny's brother finds it too much and turns his back on him. After many years, and personal hardships, the narrator finally makes a decision to reconcile with his troubled brother. This decision to reconcile with his brother is the catalyst that brings about a major change in the narrator, his view of the world, and his view of his brother.

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Sonny is a musician, a piano player and one that is extremely talented and well liked. However, Sonny is also an abuser of drugs, something that has caused a significant rift between him and his brother. Sonny's brother, the narrator of the story, is incapable of understanding Sonny's pain, and the reason he turns to drugs to escape it. Because of his drug problem, Sonny has been in and out of trouble for most of his life; something that his brother finds intolerable. Realizing Sonny needed help, their mother made the narrator promise to take care of Sonny after she died, but he finds his brother's drug addiction too much to handle and severs contact with Sonny while he is in prison. It is the personal tragedy of losing his own daughter Grace, from polio, that finally causes the narrator to understand the pain that Sonny felt throughout his life. And "on the very day that little Grace was buried," (Baldwin, 139) the narrator decides to reach out to his brother Sonny. Loss, the loss of his daughter and the fear of the loss of his brother, is the one thing that could push the narrator to overcome his anger and disappointment and reconcile with Sonny.

TOPIC: Essay on Redemption in Sonny's Blues Assignment

Once the narrator decides to reconcile with his brother, Sonny is allowed to move into the narrator's house. After years of not having any contact, the narrator and his brother Sonny are finally coming to understand each other. The relationship that the two should have had for years, a brotherly relationship, is finally developing between the two. And the building of a relationship helps the narrator overcome the grief of losing his daughter. In a way, Sonny represents a return to the world of the living from the world of the dead. And this is a strange role for Sonny who turned to drugs, as most people do, because, as the narrator believed, "He must want to die…." (Baldwin, 126) Sonny's connection to death, his role as someone whom surrounds himself with death, has been transformed into a role of the one whom returns normal life to the narrator and his family.

The narrator's decision to reach out to his brother and re-establish… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Redemption in Sonny's Blues" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Redemption in Sonny's Blues.  (2012, June 13).  Retrieved January 16, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Redemption in Sonny's Blues."  13 June 2012.  Web.  16 January 2022. <>.

Chicago Style

"Redemption in Sonny's Blues."  June 13, 2012.  Accessed January 16, 2022.