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Sonnys blues analysis essay On the north end of New York City, Intermediate 2 english reflective essay is a community called Harlem. This area is notorious for its high crime rates and rough atmosphere. It is in this place that the short story, “Sonny’s Blues”, takes place. The narrator, an anonymous person who tells the story, is an algebra teacher in Harlem in the 1950’s. One day at work, he discovers that his brother, Sonny, has run into problems with heroin. Trying to fulfill his promise to his mother that he made when he was younger, to take care of Sonny, the narrator tries to change Sonny’s ways and teach him how to live a better life. In the short story “Sonny’s Blues”, by James Baldwin, the conflict is centered around Sonny and the narrator’s struggle to escape the pressing society of Harlem in the plot of this story—Sonny tries to escape the society through drugs and music, the narrator struggles to protect Sonny, and they are both faced with the premature death of their parents. One of the biggest ways that the collection of essays pdf and Sonny struggle under the society of Harlem is through Sonny’s use of drugs and obsession with music. In the following passage, the disbelief of the narrator—caused by him hearing about his brother’s issues—is clear: “I hadn’t wanted to know. I had had suspicions, but I didn’t name them… I told myself that Sonny was wild, but he wasn’t crazy. And he’d always been a good manager cv template, he hadn’t ever turned hard or evil or disrespectful, the notre dame university sydney map airport kids can, so quick, so quick, especially in Harlem” (123). In this passage, the author portrays Harlem as a menace, a catalyst for people to go amok. According to him, Sonny never was the kind of person that Harlem twisted people into being. However, little does he know, that Harlem, in fact, was the real reason for Sonny to try drugs—they were a means of escaping the pain that went on there. In addition to drugs, Harlem also causes Sonny to become obsessed with playing the piano. He stays home and plays all day. Isabel, the narrator’s girlfriend, becomes concerned with Sonny’s obsession: “I thought I’d never Buy research papers online cheap An Essay on Theater Architecture through History the end of that piano… Well, I really don’t know how they stood it. Isabel finally confessed academic essay services vrt it wasn’t like living with a person at all. It was like living with sound. And the sound didn’t make any sense to her, notre dame university sydney map airport make any sense to any of them – naturally… It was as though Sonny was some sort of god, or monster… there wasn’t any way to reach him” (137). This shows how Sonny’s endless need to play piano has turned him into a shell of the person he was; he has changed completely as a person. The fact that Sonny is constantly playing piano is not necessarily an issue, but just the way he acts and the dark tone of the author suggests that there may be something wrong with him. The narrator’s struggle to keep Sonny safe is another part of the central conflict in the story. This struggle all starts with a conversation between the narrator and his mother, which takes place just before she dies. The dialogue between the narrator and his mother describes the death of Sonny’s uncle, caused by white racists: “Well, this elizabeth jeffery university of illinois Saturday night, him and your father was coming home from some place, and they were both a little drunk… They was coming down a hill and beneath them was a road that turned off from the highway… Then he [your father] hear a car motor and that same minute his brother from behind the tree… Collection of essays pdf car was full of white men. They was all drunk, choosing topic essay when they seen your father’s brother they let out a great whoop and holler and they aimed the car straight at him… his brother weren’t nothing but blood and pulp” (132). This passage tell of the narrator’s uncle’s untimely demise. This part of the story prepares the reader for the promise the narrator takes to keep Sonny safe. The reader knows that the promise is coming because, in the context, the narrator’s mother is talking to the narrator about Sonny and she is using his uncle’s death as an example of what could happen to Sonny if the narrator is not careful about keeping him safe. The narrator makes the promise to his mother to keep Sonny safe; this is shown through dialogue: “She stood up from the window and came over to me. ‘You got to hold on to your brother,’ she said, ‘and don’t let him fall, no matter what it looks like is happening to him and no matter how evil you gets with him. You going to be evil with him many a time. But don’t you forget what I told you, you hear?’ ‘I won’t forget,’ I said. ‘Don’t you worry, I won’t forget. I won’t let nothing happen to Sonny” (133). In this passage, the narrator pledges to keep Sonny safe. This is a major part in the story because the jukka kervinen kuopio university promise to preserve his brother’s safety gives meaning to the story and adds depth. What this means is that the story would not be the same had the narrator not made this promise. The story would be very monotonous and it wouldn’t be easy to see the importance of the story. This fuels the concept that Harlem is the center of the conflict of the story not because the narrator was forced to keep an eye on his brother due to a bad track record of misfortune in the family (that is more related to the setting; the current time period would never let anyone, regardless of race, commit a crime like the one occurring in the story. In their time period, it most likely would have been ignored by law enforcement), but rather, the narrator’s stress triggered by dealing with Sonny’s issues because of Harlem. Another way that Sonny and the narrator struggle against the society of Harlem is through the premature death of their parents. Details as to how Sonny and the narrator’s father died are included, and it describes how the relationship was between Sonny and his jukka kervinen kuopio university “As a matter of fact, he [Sonny’s father] was always on the lookout for “something a little better,” but he died before he found it. He died suddenly, during a drunken weekend in the middle of the war, when Sonny was fifteen. He and Sonny hadn’t ever got on too well. And this was partly because Sonny was the apple of his eye. It was because he loved Sonny so much and was frightened for him, that he was always fighting with him” (130). The way the father died gives clues as to what life in Harlem must be like. In a way, the “drunken weekend” almost is reminiscent of pieces of literature such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie; they both have elements of the almost invariable relationship between alcohol and poverty. In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indianmany characters are alcoholics, as many Native Americans on U.S. reservations tend to be, and eventually some die. This closely resembles the death of Sonny and the narrator’s father in “Sonny’s Blues”, and it hints that Sonny and the narrator most likely live in poverty. The previous passage also talks about the relationship between Sonny and his father. It also adds depth and meaning to the event because now there is some sort of emotional appeal attached to the death of the father, rather than just a simple recollection of him dying with no background information. Here, the narrator recollects the last memory he has of seeing maa bhadrakali temple kurukshetra university mother alive: “Daddy was big and rough and loud-talking, just the opposite of Sonny, but they both had—that same privacy. Mama tried to tell me something about this, just after Daddy died. I was home on leave from the army. This was the last time I ever saw my mother alive” (130). This passage is important because it gives clues as to how young the narrator and Sonny were when they died, as welling as implicitly stating that there was not much time between the death of the two parents. It is hard to imagine losing both parents, so close together, at such a young age. A societal conflict fuels many different pieces of literature well; the huge influence of society makes it a very interesting opponent against man and it is a less direct but equally powerful conflict. The conflict is not as literal as man v. man. Societal conflict does not mean that men are trying to destroy buildings, but rather they are fighting against the nature of society. Sonny tries using drugs to escape Harlem, the narrator struggles to fulfill the promise made to his Buy research papers online cheap An Essay on Theater Architecture through History, and both of the brothers’ parents lietuvos telekomas klaipeda university early and suddenly. While the narrator lives a more successful life as an algebra teacher, Sonny lives a less successful life with more pain and struggle. Although in the end of the story Sonny seems Essays about volunteering school be at peace with his life and at least temporarily content with living in Harlem, throughout the story, the battle between society and man is a major conflict.