Brotherly Love In Sonny’s Blues By James Baldwin And Tobias Wolff´S The Rich Brother

2005 words - 9 pages

"The complexity of "
In both "Sonny’s Blues" and "The Rich Brother", one of the two brothers encounters success through his life whereas the younger one does not follow the same path and constantly disappoints the other. Pete and Sonny’s brother unconditionally love their own brothers for numerous different reasons and they feel an obligation to the other. They believe that it is their duty to take care of Donald and Sonny, but at the same time they cannot or at least in the beginning understand what drives their brothers in life and moreover the reasons that push them to make the choices they are constantly making. Although Sonny’s bad decisions put him through a lot, he finally ...view middle of the document...

He wants to be able to drive like this alone without turning back to pick up Donald but the weight of his parent’s faith and trust on him does not allow him to stop fighting for Donald. At the beginning of "Sonny’s Blues", Sonny’s brother is "scared for Sonny." He feels that way because he loves and cares too much about Sonny. Further in the story, just before the mother dies, she speaks with Sonny’s brother and tells him that,’’You got to hold onto your brother’’,’’and don’t let him fall, no matter what it looks like is happening to him and no matter how evil you get with him…’’ The first sentence seems to be a death wish from the mother. Sonny’s brother probably already feels that he has to take care of his younger brother and his mother’s wish results in him having extra pressure on his shoulders, forcing him to get closer to Sonny without his full understanding. The possibility that sometimes in life some people such as Sonny can behave in a way that is hard to relate to for the people that surround them and mostly for the closest ones. Sonny’s brother is confronted with the hard reality that Sonny does not want to follow the family pattern, have a decent job and do something with his life, but instead he decides to be an artist and sadly takes drugs and becomes an addict.
For Sonny’s brother the idea of taking care of his brother is no easy task, he is probably afraid because he is the older brother and does not automatically know how to handle Sonny and live with him. The text says: "I'd never played the role of older brother quite so seriously before, had scarcely ever, in fact, asked Sonny a damn thing. I sensed myself in the presence of something I didn't really know how to handle, didn't understand." Sonny is a part of his brother’s family but because of all the troubles that Sonny goes through during his youth, his brother does not know how to understand him and how to be the big brother he should and desires to be. The complex love and at the same time hate that each brother has for the other is central in both texts. The complexity of the relationships is the result of the mixture of two very important characteristics that the four brothers have: their education and their personality. In "The Rich Brother", Pete clearly loves his brother even if he cannot understand Donald’s choices. For Pete the love that he has for his brother is more powerful than any mistake or choice that Donald could make. As a reader we can nevertheless think that in fact Pete needs his brother for a very different, selfish reason. He needs to help Donald to feel better about himself. Donald’s failures in life and the fact that Pete is always there ready to reprehend him and correct his mistakes in order to make him look like a fool is the base of their complex relationship.
Throughout the text, Sonny completely changes the way his brother is seeing and understanding him. At the beginning of the text we learn, "I did’t want to believe that I’d ever see...

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