The contrasting lives of two brothers contribute to the theme of being safe while being risk takers. In this story, Baldwin writes about two brothers who grew up together. As each of the boys grew older, their friendship diminished and they ended up having two completely different lives. The narrator, who is the older brother seemed to be more cautious and had a more determined manner to develop a good future. Sonny, the younger brother, was more free and adventurous as he lived in the moment. Sonny did not even know what his plans were for the next hour, let alone the rest of his life. The narrator’s greatest source of dissatisfaction was his selfish desire to learn and live a respectable life safely as a teacher of high school algebra. When Sonny learns the consequences about drugs and the law, he feels threatened. Sonny’s brother lives in a safe environment while Sonny’s environment is very unsafe and that is why Baldwin carefully set the brothers as opposites. The narrator is a conservative, respectable family man who is a professor of mathematics and is proud of its professional status. In the story, Sonny interprets of the narrator, who worked for Sonny as guardian, father figure, and a brother-peer. The narrator describes Sonny as a “savage, but not crazy. He says Sonny had always been a good boy, he never healed or evil or disrespectful, and how children can so quickly” (Baldwin 85). He compared students Sonny: a dreamy, disillusioned and obedient, but is grappling with the desperation of his live in a poor promise.
The author used the name of the story Sonny’s Blues, to give readers a clue to the theme of history. Noun “the blues” is defined in the mood unhappiness and depression. This theme is present throughout the story. “Blues” is a style of music that reflects a sad mood. “Blues” as well as being in the music, the basic structure of the story, and as the narrator and his brother, Sonny has played a role in depression.
Sonny’s brother is a shared perspective on this story, because he feels responsible for keeping his brother safe. His Brother learns to listen to all this history to understand the life of Sonny. The narrator as he fought for his life and how he is now watching his younger brother, Sonny fought through the same situation. He worried about the life of Sonny that might not be able to escape the turmoil that life brings, above all, a musician who has no family ties and job security. Sonny tries to become a jazz musician, the narrator watches and listens as Sonny goes through many adversities in life. He does not want Sonny to be a jazz musician, because there is no future there. At the end of the story, Sonny’s brother was invited into a nightclub to watch and listen to his brother. During his visit, he learns and listens to understand Sonny and how he uses his music to survive, and how the music gives meaning to their lives.
In the central scene of “Sonny’s Blues”, is when the narrator agrees to go with Sonny to the night jazz club. The narrator’s realization that he must accept Sonny for who he is happened at the night club. This is the first time that Sonny’s brother feels content with Sonny as he plays the piano and listens to his blues music. There he meets Sonny’s musician friends who appreciate the way in which the narrator accepted his brother. The next scene, the narrator begins to understand the language of jazz and how it has changed the lives of Sonny for the best. Director, Creole, who was the bassist of the band, did the brother of mighty deed teaching Sonny how to play the piano. The benefit of the blues helped Sonny to end his drug addiction. During this scene, the brother of Sonny reflected in Creole and Sonny saw him with respect, to let him run the band that made his brother see that Sonny had talent and pursued his talent.
Living in a housing project in Harlem, Sonny’s brother determined to protect themselves from the risks that surrounded them. You will notice that the narrator and Sonny’s neighborhood were mostly blacks and poor people in Harlem. Their working class embittered father, whose pride and optimism is diminished fought to support the family to openly racism. Sonny, however, is a romantic artist, who is not afraid to take risks to pursue what he wants. His passion for music makes him impatient. He stayed away from school, but not away from danger. Sonny wants to live a respectful life but it is very hard for him. He did different things to try to escape this corruption, he tries to escape by joining the army, but fails. And he tries to escape by use of illegal drugs. When life feels like a toll on Sonny, he takes for his music. He realizes that his problems are real and that he can really escape them. Music is played in his life which changes his pain and suffering. Maybe not so that you can definitely stay away from danger, as the father of Sonny said, “there is no safe place at all” (Baldwin 95). Sonny music provides a channel to express the darkness within him, while his sense of life slowly recovers.
The story of “Sonny’s Blues” illustrated how life was growing up in an African American family during 1930 -1960’s. Black Americans struggled to make their imprint on society. The life of the amazing blind musician Ray Charles comes to my mind as I struggle to understand how the African American culture learned to survive during this time. Sonny and Ray Charles had many of the same life experiences, in particular relying on drugs to forget their past and living in a society where the black man struggled to make a living. Both men used their music of rhythm and blues to gain respect from family and friends