Works Cited Albert, Richard N. Yet the child knows that his parents' pain will one day become his pain. Sending him a drink whereby his brother responded with a nod was a brotherly moment of finding unity and peace at last. Importance of Setting Through the use of setting, Baldwin is able to create a metaphor for African American culture in Harlem during this time through his character Sonny. He rubbed the muscle of one arm. That night at the nightclub, the narrator realizes that Sonny is loved and respected in his world. For Baldwin, the blues are not a specific genre of music, but rather something more universal.
At some point along their heroic journey a person may regain their strengths and develop new ones. The houses they grew up in are long gone, replaced by more housing projects. Going to meet the man. By using heroin or engaging in criminal activity, Sonny can imagine that his suffering is a consequence of his actions, instead of an effect of societal and institutional forces far beyond his control. The narrator notes that the cruel realities of the streets have taken away the possible light from the lives of his brother and his students. So Sonny drinking from the cup of trembling is a reminder of all the suffering he has gone through his drug addiction,.
This quote is relating Sonny's life to the street of Lenox Avenue. Only Mama ever saw his tears, and she decided they should keep the story secret from their sons. He had made it his: that long line, of which we knew only Mama and Daddy. This guilt is one thing Sonny couldn't handle. The theme of light and darkness as well as suffering play a vital part in this story.
It makes you feel sort of warm and cool at the same time. Suffering also confers the ability to understand and feel true compassion for others, which is essential for redemption. Sonny lives with the narrator and Isabel after his release. This story includes the traditional elements to every story, which consist of the exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution. The narrator is scared for his brother and he feels partly guilty for not helping him in his time of need. Sonny apologizes for disappointing people who believed in him and expresses his need to get outside. His uncle was not merely a victim of hit-and-run but a victim of bigotry.
And a piano is just a piano. The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about. The novel is about the struggles, failures and successes of these two African American brothers growing up in the intercity as a minority. The darkness outside is what the old folks have been talking about. The neighborhood, which the narrator refers to several times as a trap, sucks young people into a downward spiral of poverty, depression, and loathing. The story opens with the first-person narrator reading in the newspaper that his younger brother -- from whom he is estranged -- has been arrested for selling and using heroin. Conclusion To conclude, both characters grew in the same problematic community but travailed two different paths.
She warns the narrator that a similar fate could befall Sonny, demonstrating her concern that racism is still a very real threat to the family. Through these examples, Baldwin attempts to communicate the anger and desperation that plague Harlem and the wider African American community. Even the narrator's family has been impacted: the narrator's mother describes how the death of the narrator's uncle led his father to harbor a smoldering rage against white men. The narrator remembers his younger brother, Sonny, back when he was in high school, with a bright and open face and wonderfully direct brown eyes. Sony never intended on living the life he did and wanted to escape his problems so he immerses himself into music because he has a true passion for it.
However, by delving deeper and examining the theme of music in the story, it is nothing but beneficial for Sonny and the other figures involved. He dwells on the news all day long, while teaching algebra at a high school in Harlem. On the other hand, the narrator is physically free. The streets and communities of Harlem are described as being a harsh environment which claims the lives of many who have struggled against the constant enticement of emotional escape through drugs, and financial escape through crime. Some of them include a flashback the narrator had about his father and the death of his uncle, a street corner revival, and an old friend of Sonny's who tries to explain why Sonny does what he does. The last statement is what the narrator believes to be true.
In the past, he saves his patience treating his brother as merely a child who will someday mature and realize things over to himself. The narrator, an algebra teacher, observes a depressing similarity between his students and his brother, Sonny. The Narrator wants to be carefree and protective as much as possible with his brother while the latter is more expressive of his fury but not his deeper desires. Public opinion suggests that musicians and drugs go hand and hand. The narrator is a high school algebra teacher and just discovered his brother in the newspaper. I don't just give a damn how other people do, I don't even care how they suffer. He acknowledges that he could start again at any time, and the narrator says he understands.
Those who got out always left something of themselves behind, as some animals amputate a leg and leave it in the trap. The Narrator is a witness to all problems that affected his brother, he tends to be indifferent to all of these if not possessing a strong character in meeting the challenges in his community and of his race. He who was lost is now found. This documents how repressed feelings of marginalized sectors are translated in music and song. The point-of-view also plays a pivotal role in providing an insight into the lives of the narrator and Sonny and the environment in which they were raised.
Though the narrator teaches school in Harlem, he distances himself emotionally from the people who live there and their struggles and is somewhat judgmental and superior. From the narrator's description of the setting, we can infer that the violence, drug abuse, and indigence in the narrator's community, Harlem, has had a deep emotional impact on him and his brother. Sonny explains that his heroin usage is an attempt to cope with suffering that would otherwise paralyze him. The Narrator is happy in both his career and relationship with a teaching position, a wife, and children. Throughout the story there is an unhappy mood.