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The Recurrence Of Sonny’s Blues Essay

970 words - 4 pages

Though the African American community is much more progressive than it was, there are still bits and pieces of the old generation still echoing throughout the new generation. James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues” is a great literary example of how the old meets the new and actually parallels certain aspects of life for an African American in many different ways. From parents and previous generations letting siblings know it is their responsibility to look out for one another, especially for the youngest of the bunch, to not fully having the support to chase your dreams because it is not viewed as practical enough are all points that were made in Baldwin’s piece of fiction that are still ...view middle of the document...

The narrator’s mother was basically letting her son know that there are people in the world with cruel intentions who aren’t changing and that it is his duty to keep his brother in line for his own good. She didn’t want the narrator to live his life full of regret like his father did if something happened to his younger brother. His father felt like he didn’t look out for his brother like he should’ve which he felt ultimately led to his brother’s demise. The whole story about looking out for Sonny came from a place of brokenness because his mother saw what regret and grief did to their father and didn’t want her son to have to suffer through the same exact things. Who knows? That one talk could be the very thing that saved Sonny’s life.
Sonny had a dream of becoming a jazz musician but never fully had the support from his older brother until the latter part of the story. “I want to play jazz,” Sonny told the narrator, who responded negatively to his dream and classified musicians as a class of “good-time people”. This simply means that the narrator didn’t take being jazz musician as a choice of career as a practical one. During those times, and even during these times, African American families always spoke of practicality when it came to choosing a career path. They truly wanted the best for their children and would rather them to pursue a career that will guarantee them an honest living instead of choosing a very risky, inconsistent career path. The narrator felt, just like his father, that musicians were only a group of people who didn’t take life as serious as they should and were only looking to party, which is not...

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