And the darkness of the movies, which had blinded then to the other darkness” Baldwin When the narrator loses his daughter Grace, he simultaneously identifies with the pain and darkness in Sonny’s life and realizes his own loss of grace, resulting from the broken promise that he made to his mother the last time he saw her” Tackach To see Sonny, to talk to him is only a reminder of their dark and painful past. Download this Chart PDF. Baldwin successfully describes the neighborhood that the brothers spent their lives trying to escape.

The brother, on the other hand, became an algebra teacher, a job that the white culture would respect. In a tale centered around music, silence stands out more than noise. As we have already mentioned, it becomes the toll by which Sonny can effectively deal with this world. Just before the narrator experiences watches his brother play, he says, “For while the tale of how we suffer Finally, the narrator comes to understand what Sonny was speaking of when he talked about playing and connecting with the music. A musician is creative, fluid, and free spirited, while an algebra teacher is more logical and structured by nature, establishing a basic gap between the two right off the bat.

The narrator helps us see the homes and the streets and equates that with a looming darkness that never goes away.

Sonny’s Blues Character and Symbolism Analysis – Essay Example

In the bar, light becomes a symbol for Sonny’s redemption. The stillness marks the beginning of his downfall. He tells him about the many ways people can keep from “drowning” in their misfortune. James Tackach notes, “The narrator’s daughter’s name is, of course, highly symbolic.

As Sonny acknowledges, his only source of meaning in life is through music However, once the narrator starts to delve into their past, we learn that there is more to these people than previously thought. It is about two possible different paths in dealing with the tough situation at hand.


sonnys blues symbolism essay

This is boues in Sonny’s disposition. A musician is creative, fluid, and free spirited, while an algebra teacher is more logical and structured by nature, establishing a basic gap between the two right off the bat.

Point of View and Symbolism in Sonny’s Blues | Get Access To Unique Paper

Music is always seen as a universal language and blued story illustrates how that idea works. Jack tales and their effect on people in Blue Ridge The… Pages: It is worth nothing that this catharsis extends to the narrator as well in that he, too, experiences “relief from the grief he has felt for the deaths of his parents, and more recently, that of his daughter, Gracie” Champion.

sonnys blues symbolism essay

When we read about these conditions, we have a sense ysmbolism there is no hope for the people that are living in these conditions. You walk these streets, black and funky and cold, and there’s really not a living ass to talk to To escape that painful, dark world is something Sonny cannot describe easily and that is why his form of expression is music. Best in the business since ! Even after years, the narrator notices, “These streets hadn’t changed, though the housing projects jutted up out of them now like rocks in the middle of the boiling sea” Baldwin The environment the two brothers grow up in is a symbol of desperation.

The music is cathartic for Sonny and, as a result, becomes necessary for his survival.

Sonny’s Blues Symbols from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

One reason why the narrator does not visit his brother is because Sonny reminds him of his past, which is something from which he is successfully detached. For the first time, he truly became aware of what suffering is. We read that he sat in the “living room in the dark” Baldwin 39 and the thought of his misfortune made Sonny’s trouble “real” Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Two other important symbols are the moments of silence throughout the story, and the reoccurring usage of water.


Donald Murray agrees with the powerful symbol of darkness in the story, asserting that there is “no escape from the darkness for Sonny and his family” Murray Here we see the environment that the brothers needed to escape.

Sign In Sign Up. Throughout lbues story, Baldwin uses imagery of darkness to signal the dangers and traumas of growing up black in Harlem. Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. Next The Cup of Trembling.

He lives his life for glues. These symbols operate together to create the image of loss, disappointment, and acceptance between two brothers that finally begin to value one another. Click to download the paper! The final scene with the light that “glowed and shook” 48 above Sonny’s head represents the narrator’s epiphany.

Tackach adds, “The drink that now glows above Sonny like the cup of trembling